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Problem-Solving kids And Company


So by now you’re probably wondering what is it exactly that makes someone a problem-solving kid. First, let’s talk about what they’re not. There are several common attitudes that can get in the way of effective problem solving. While the following characters may sound like caricatures of real people, I bet these non-problem-solving kids also sound pretty familiar. Chances are you know people just like them at school or at work. Maybe they’re your friends or members of your family. Some of them may even remind you of yourself!


For instance, take Miss Sigh.


Miss Sigh is the kind of person who gives up immediately whenever she faces even the smallest challenge. She just sighs and says, “I’ll never be able to do that.” Which isn’t to say she couldn’t achieve things if she tried. Sometimes she has a great idea or notices a problem that can be fixed. But she’s terrified of failing and having people laugh at her. Instead of speaking up or taking action, she sits around feeling sorry for herself. Miss Sigh can’t take control of her own life. She feels as though no one understands her, and she blames anything bad that happens on everybody else.

Over and over, she says the same kinds of things:
  • “I’ll never be able to do that. I’m just not that talented.”
  • “I’m not going to try. What if I fail? Everyone will make fun of me!”
  • “I blame my parents. I blame society. I blame you!”
  • “Nobody understands me. Nobody cares about me. Everybody is out to get me.”

Mr. Critic, on the other hand, is never afraid to speak up. He is a professional criticizer. Whatever the plan, he is ready to point out the shortcomings and shoot down everyone else’s ideas. If someone tries something and fails, he’ll be the first to say, “I told you so.” He’s always eager to blame someone else whenever things go wrong.


He may have a lot to say about other people’s mistakes, but he never does much of anything himself. As you probably know, being a critic is easy; getting stuff done is the real challenge. Even if you know how things should be done, it’s useless if you aren’t willing to roll up your sleeves and get to work. It’s possible that Mr. Critic may not realize how little his criticisms are appreciated by people who are actually trying to get things accomplished. Or maybe he’s too afraid to take responsibility and face the fact that he himself makes mistakes.

You may hear Mr. Critic saying things like:
  • “Well, that definitely won’t work. What a stupid idea!”
  • “I told you that would get screwed up. It’s all your fault.”
  • “Come on, I told you what you needed to do. Why can’t you get it done?”

Mr. Critic may be a big downer, but Miss Dreamer has her head stuck in the clouds. She loves coming up with new ideas. But it rarely goes beyond that. She never bothers to figure out how to turn her ideas into real plans, and she definitely doesn’t try to get anything done. She is satisfied just thinking about her great dreams. They’re always better in her head than they would be in reality, anyway.


Miss Dreamer has many audacious dreams—dreams that never seem to become realities:
  • “I want to write a novel!”
  • “Wouldn’t it be great if I started my own business?”
  • “I want to be a doctor when I grow up.”
  •  “I’m an idea person. Don’t bother me with the nitty gritty details!”

Mr. Go-Getter may not seem like a non-problem solver when you first meet him. He’s definitely not one to worry about problems or entertain negative thoughts. And when something goes wrong, he quickly jumps into action. His attitude is “I can’t change the past. But I can do something now.” Mr. Go-Getter’s tenacity and proactiveness are definitely positive traits.


However, if he knew how to pause and think for a minute before rushing to execute, he would be able to achieve so much more. He also tends to blame every failure on a simple lack of effort—he thinks any problem can be solved by trying harder. When he makes up his mind about how to solve a problem, he refuses to change course. He’s not interested in seeking out the root cause of his problems or in considering alternative solutions. He just doesn’t realize that stopping to think can be just as important as taking action.

Mr. Go-Getter can often be heard saying things like:
  • “I’ll never give up. I’ve got to overcome this challenge!”
  • “I’ve got to try harder! I can’t stop now!”
  • “I know this will work if I just put in a little more effort.”
  • “Why stop to think? That’s just a waste of time. Everything is about execution!”

Are you one of these types? Do you ever find yourself sighing and giving up? Do you think it’s easier to criticize other people rather than trying to do anything on your own? Do you love to dream but hate to plan? Do you attack problems head on but fail to turn on the brakes when you aren’t getting anything done? Or are you more like a problem-solving kid?

Problem-solving kids have a real flair for setting goals and getting things accomplished. They take overcoming challenges in stride. Like Mr. Go-Getter, they don’t agonize over problems. However, unlike Mr. Go-Getter, they think about the root causes of their problems and map out an effective plan before and while taking action, and they are willing to rework their plan as new challenges pop up. By striking a balance between thinking and acting, they can accomplish amazing things. Problem-solving kids enjoy learning from their successes as well as from their failures.

The tool kit of a problem-solving kid includes identifying the root cause of a problem and setting specific goals. They have positive attitudes and stay focused on what can be changed rather than what already happened. They come up with specific action plans to fix their problems and then execute right away. Once they take action, they constantly monitor their own progress.


Here’s what you may hear from a problem-solving kid :
  • “Okay! I’m going to accomplish this within three months.”
  • “This is a problem, but rather than worrying about it, I’m going to figure out what I can do about it.”
  •  “So what really caused this?”
  • “To fix this, we’re going to need to do X, Y, and Z. Let’s try them out.”
  • “So how did this work out? What went wrong? Is there a way we could do this better next time?”

Take a look at the following chart. It compares the five characters we’ve just met and highlights their differences.


In the chart, all five characters have a problem they need to solve.

Miss Sigh circles around the starting point, sighing away. Of course, she gets nowhere.

Mr. Critic is certain he knows how the problem should be solved, and he quickly points out to others what they are doing wrong. But he doesn’t do anything, and his criticisms don’t help anyone else get the problem solved, either. The dotted lines from his starting point are all the other people’s plans that he shot down.

Miss Dreamer does not get to the goal, either. She just stares at the goal like it’s a bright, beautiful star. Sitting at the starting point, she dreams of grand and wonderful solutions to the problem, but never tries to make them happen.

Unlike the first three, Mr. Go-Getter at least tries to reach the goal. He never gives up and just keeps on running as fast and as hard as he can. However, he is not necessarily running in the right direction. When he figures out that he’s going the wrong way, he turns and starts running in another wrong direction as fast as he can. He never stops to identify the root cause of his problem or figure out an effective plan. It’s a shame, because he certainly has more than enough motivation to reach his goal.


The problem-solving kids achieve their goal more quickly and directly than the others. While they have plenty of Mr. Go-Getter’s guts and speedy execution, they also figure out the actual root cause of the problem they need to solve before coming up with an actionable plan and going to work. As they travel toward their goal, they never stop monitoring their own progress to make sure they’re headed in the right direction. While others get nowhere or head in the wrong direction, the problem-solving kids have already reached that first goal and are heading for the next one.

Problem solving isn’t a talent that some people have and others don’t. It’s a habit. By developing the right skills and adopting the right attitude, anyone can become a problem-solving kid.
Problem-Solving kids And Company Problem-Solving kids And Company Reviewed by Adslah Admin on 2:18:00 AM Rating: 5

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