How to Solve a Problem

I spent a large part of my career working with young children. If you’ve spent a long time around kids you’ll know that trying to get them to talk about what is wrong is not always successful; they often lack the vocabulary to put it into words and the maturity to understand what ails them.

We think we get a lot better at this as we get older and sometimes we do; talking about an issue can be helpful and therapeutic. And sometimes it can be damaging, or at the very least not lead us onto resolution (see Your Friday Happiness Audit for more on this)

And sometimes we talk ourselves out and spend so long discussing a problem that we lose the will to live and just shelve it! Especially at work where everyone has their two penn’orth to add.

When you find yourself in that situation try this, it’s a great personal development exercise.

Draw out your problem.  I use the word ‘draw‘ loosely. Basically I mean without using any words at all try to represent on paper what the issue is. Use as much colour as you can get your hands on. Once you’ve finished leave it for a while.  When I’m using this method in groups I get them to explain to someone else what they have drawn as this often helps the problem solving process kick off. If you’re doing this alone just go and make a drink of something and take ten minutes to relax.

Now take another sheet of paper and draw your response. Look at your first picture and just put down what instinctively comes to you. You’re tapping into your creative sub conscious. It works brilliantly with children as they draw in an unselfconscious way; it’s just another medium to them but we get less able to be that free as we get older. If you can let yourself go a little it can work brilliantly with adults too. As you sketch, scrawl or scribble away listen to your intuition and to what it is telling you. You might just have got your answer…

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Posted on October 8th, 2012 by

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