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Solving problems themselves

This podcast from Shane Parrish talks with Greg Walton from Stanford, specifically looking at the small things that can make a big difference. In an exec coaching session an hour ago I referred to both of the things below, so here they are in case you can use them too.

1. Ask “what is your worst problem”
2. Ask “Why does this happen?” (they often blame themselves or the other person in the interaction)
3. Ask “What else could it be?” until they get to a non-blaming response.

This requires patience, but it’s getting them to solve the problem rather than taking no responsibility for the issue. 

Then the second thing is around how we deal with mistakes.

Parents’ attitudes about fixed or growth mindset aren’t passed onto their kids. What is passed on is their parents’ attitudes to mistakes. 

There’s a lot of rhetoric about growth mindset, and consciously we may be all for it, but if we deal with mistakes as if they are a really big deal and shouldn’t happen, or get angry with our own mistakes, we’re actually demonstrating a fixed mindset. Compared to a post implementation review kind of response: What can we learn from this: let’s sit down, have a treat and work out what we can learn.  How do you treat a mistake from a team member? Do you talk with them about context, what we can learn about it, use it as an opportunity to celebrate our normal without mistakes way of working, or are you doing something else? Which one serves you? Which creates more psychological safety? Two thoughts for today!

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