Are you a fixer? Do you hear people’s challenges and problems, then immediately go into “fix it” mode? Being a problem solver is indeed a unique and important skill, but if it’s applied at an inappropriate time, it’s counterproductive.
Now, let me be fully transparent in saying that, I am absolutely a fixer, so when I even remotely sense a problem around me, I’m ready to go in to full solution mode, so even I have to adhere to my own advice in this area. Many of us are just inherent helpers and we want to do just that, but sometimes our helpful intentions can make things worse than what they really need to be.
When someone expresses or shares a problem that they’re having, an immediate response may be to try to immediately find a solution or share your perspective on things, when in fact, there are three alternate recommended approaches that will yield better results..
- Listen – Listen to actually just listen. We are creatures of listening to give our feedback, provide our insight and share our approach. When someone is sharing, our primary job is to first listen. Many times, we spend so much energy, trying to think of the most appropriate response or fix, while they’re talking, when all the person wanted and maybe needed us to do was just listen. If they want your feedback, wait for them to ask for this.
- Avoid Saying “I” – Examples of this include statements like “well, what I would do is” or “I wouldn’t have handled it like that”. If you were explicitly asked for your opinion, that’s a completely different thing, but interjecting your take on things without being asked for them is a recipe for disaster and disappointment.
- Embrace Perspective – it’s actually pretty easy to say what you would do in a certain situation. But, that situational analysis changes drastically when you have to actually step into the other persons shoes. As you’re faced with the challenges that your friends, family members, colleagues and partners share with you, take a holistic approach and think beyond what you might do. What are their challenges, considerations and potentially roadblocks?
Scarlet Says…While we will all be in situations where other people share their challenges with us, avoid compounding the issue by interjecting your personal avoidable and unwarranted factors.
Until Next Time,