I’ve been thinking about the benefits of problem solving together. You’ll remember that in a recent blog post I talked about leaders not having all of the answers all of the time, well no one else does either!

If you have a problem or a challenge or a question that you know the answer to but want to check out, test it with someone else. Thinking out loud, sharing your challenge, talking about where you’re stuck is often enough to make the solution appear. Whether you consider this to be coaching, mentoring, action learning, you’re probably right. It’s probably all of those things.

A problem shared is a problem halved, so if you have a hurdle to jump, a step to climb or a ravine to traverse, think about these three things…..

1. Seek out a trusted colleague or friend. If you really want to get the beat out of the discussion, be prepared to say ‘I don’t know’ and accept an idea when it’s given. ‘I hadn’t thought of that’ means that you were humble enough to think about something in a way you hadn’t thought before

2. It’s your problem and your challenge, so be discerning about the advice you take. Consider the thoughts and ideas you’ve had from others and decide for yourself which one will pass your desk and have your stamp of approval

3. Pay it forward. When someone helps you to solve a problem, be ready to help others solve theirs. Not knowing the answer doesn’t mean that you won’t be as equally helpful to someone else with a different challenge. Be as ready with a listening ear as you are with a nurturing voice

Wishing you all a very happy December 1st