Are you Problem-Focused or Solution-Focused?

I was discussing a challenge in my life with a friend when she turned to me and asked, “Are you problem-centered or solution-centered?” That question stunned me.

Frequently, when a problem surfaces, I will dwell in that problem.  Sit on it.  Hug it.  Share it with my friends.  Get up close and personal with it and give it a lot of attention and space in my life.  When I do that, I lose complete sight of solutions.  It gets me off track.

My friend's question is a tool I try to use more often when any kind of a problem tries to hog a seat at my energy table.  If I become solution-centered, my whole attitude shifts.  My mind opens up to see ideas and opportunities that had not been visible before.  It seems so simple yet I still get swept into that problem vortex from time to time.

It's as if I have two sets of eyeglasses.  One that sees only problems and the other that sees only remedies to the problems.  Why on earth would I put on those glasses that point out the problems, yet I still own a pair.

In my brief defense, I often must see and understand a problem before I can entertain solutions.  It's the behavior of staying in the problem that is problematic – or is that redundant?

One of the reasons I created HUDDLE Sessions is specifically for the purpose of helping other women like me find solutions to nagging challenges.  I needed it! The process is completely solution-focused.  Women bring their ideas or issues to the table and the rest of the HUDDLE team give her solutions she can't reach on her own.  We provide wisdom from different viewpoints and actions to get her out of her own problem-focused thinking.  We provide solutions because we are wearing those glasses that only let us focus on solutions.

For instance, many women bring a challenge about starting a new career or business but seem mired in the obstacles.  That often obstructs their vision of opportunities.  The challenge for me and for any other woman who gets herself into that crazy spiral of mental thinking is to put the brakes on and ask, “What am I focusing on here?”

Darcie Davis, called The Game Gal, is creator of HUDDLE Sessions for Creative Problem Solving for Women and founder of GamesandTeamBuilding.com.  She is also a speaker on topics about using a games-way-of-thinking to connect people, teams and groups.

2 COMMENTS

  1. So true Darcie. It is important to know the problem being tackled and then to move quickly to finding solutions and not get stuck in going over and over the issue. Your HUDDLE sessions are perfect for doing this and allowing women to get different perspectives and fresh ideas from women they’ve never met. I loved the creativity that flowed when I participated in one of your huddles. Thanks for the good work you do to help solve problems in a fun way. Julie, Co-author of Drink Wine and Giggle http://drinkwineandgiggle.com

  2. Great advice, Darcie. By changing your focus to solution-orientation, you can see different perspectives and look at the issue more objectively. Many times, that is where opportunity lurks. Your HUDDLE sessions help participants do this. Plus, it’s great to meet such amazing, powerful women and get some fresh ideas.