Here’s a way to make a difficult situation worse. I came across a web page titled, “Work related stress – together we can tackle it”.
What do you think is wrong with this typical to-do list?
It’s clear they are trying to be helpful, but nothing will get better:
- There’s no room for knowing what people want to be better
- There’s no attempt to find out what doesn’t have to change
- It’s not structured to find solutions
- If anything, it’s designed to institutionalize the problem
- Risks have to be minimized, just not this way
As I say in my short video about analyzing problems…
Leadership in an organization should be looking for alternatives.
How do we get to solutions? We have to be counter-intuitive to what you see in the to-do list:
- Ask people what they would want instead of the problem
- Ask them about times when the problem didn’t exist (might have to dig a little at first)
- Ask them which part of the problem they’d like to get better
- Ask them to suppose that the problem diminished and things were better, what would be happening?
- Ask them what small steps might get them moving towards what they wanted to happen.