Think about that problem that you've had that you keep coming back to again and again. Maybe it's a person on your team that is driving you crazy. It could be a project you're working on that keeps haunting you.
How many times have you've tried to fix it, solve,
or make that problem go away.
But it's still there, isn't it?
Einstein is quoted as saying we can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Yet, we try to do that all the time!
Let me tell you about Marilyn👩🏻💼and Iva 🙋♀️
Marilyn brought up her problem staff Iva in her latest coaching call with me. As Marilyn told me the challenge with Iva's late paperwork, I was sure this wasn't the first time Marilyn had to address the issue with Iva.
No, it's been an ongoing challenge since I hired her three years ago, Marilyn confirmed. Every time I talk to her, she gets better for a few months, then we are back to the same way before long. I get comments from the funder about late reports, and suddenly, I'm annoyed again. So, I call Iva in and address it once more!
Do you do what Marilyn did?
Here is the thing, my dear, women like us often supervise our staff with the same approach that we parent our children. We remind them, coax them and reprimand them.
We think correction should fix them, right?
That method has already been tried!
Let's be honest. If Iva's parents, teachers and university instructors hadn't yet cured her with scolding, lecturing and chewing her out, what makes us think our version of reprimanding her will?
We need to try something different!
No, as Einstein said, we need a new way of thinking. In fact, we need to pivot our thinking and come up with a whole new perspective.
The problem is our brains don't easily
let us think creatively at work.
Your workspace may be stifling
When you are sitting in the office, at your desk, with the next meeting almost about to start and awareness that someone will be popping their head in the door any second with a new crisis, it's hard to think outside the box
You need to find a way to access the part of your brain
that will let you be innovative.
Here is what Marilyn did:
I gave Marilyn a bit of homework to help her find creative ways to deal with this staffing problem.
Two weeks later, Marilyn was so excited to update me
on how things were going with Iva.
Marilyn's Creative Insights
It wasn't about paperwork being on time, Marylyn had realized. It was an issue of respect. Marilyn knew the expectations of the funder were unrealistic and often a pain in the butt. The other staff had conformed to paperwork deadlines because it was the "right" thing to do.
The problem was Iva's values clash
Iva would always push back on paperwork if it interfered with direct client work. But there was another value that Iva held firmly. Respect.
Identifying the values clash "fixed" the problem
It was when Marylin had a conversation with Iva about how to balance both values in her work, respecting the funder's need for paperwork and valuing her clients, that Iva began to make some subtle shifts in the way she prioritized her work. It was nothing dramatic, but slight enough to appease everyone!
Answering the questions on paper allowed Marilyn to be creative
What Marilyn did, with the homework I gave her, was access her subconscious and her inner wisdom.
👉Marilyn got out of logical thinking for a few minutes and found new insights, ideas and perspectives.
What did Marilyn do?
It wasn't the "Dear Diary" kind of journaling, but free writing, with prompts.
In many ways, it was a memo to herself...
Memo to self:
✏️This is the problem I have:
✏️ Here's what I need to do to fix it:
You can use journaling to find creative solutions too!!!
To solve your most difficult issues, you need to tune into your inner wisdom, intuition and creative thinking.
1) Create 5 minutes of solitude.
2) Pull out a piece of paper and write down the challenge you are faced with and ask yourself how you might fix it.
3) Then, write down new ideas that come to mind quickly.
Need help? Join me for this month's Webinar ⬇️
WEBINAR: Quick Journaling for Effective Leadership! ⭐️
The webinar is now over, but available as a replay inside of The Training Library
Join the membership
Listen to the podcasts
Read the book
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.