Home > Solution Focussed Management > From Business Project to Your Project (Part 2)

From Business Project to Your Project (Part 2)

DRAFT: I will try to finish it after de FD Career challenge

So your manager and you need to know how to make you happy and get the project done! This post is the second part of the story. In the first part I tried to show how you might identify the tasks in a project which need some attention to make you happy. Now how can you go about changing the things that need changing, for you to get happy. Sometimes you can just say, I’m not the man for the job, but most of the time this solution is not available (for the extreme cases: Worry and Apathy, do ask though!). So now you have a problem, I will describe a technique which originates from psychology, solution focussed thinking and try to give some handles to accomplish your goals.

How?…the magic question!

First thing to teach yourself to ask solution focussed questions, for example:

  1. How can I do it?
  2. What is going well, and how did I do that?
  3. What does work?
  4. How did others do it?

It will make you look into the future, and open the door to solutions. Sometimes these solutions come without you ever knowing the root cause of the problem. Example: you see a kid that’s sad, and you decide to buy the kid some ice cream, the kid is happy. You didn’t know the original cause of the sadness yet you were able to fix that fact that he was sad.

In his book ‘Solution focussed management: Simple works the best’ (dutch), Louis Cauffman, mentions 6 tools to help people in a solution focussed way. I will briefly discuss two which I like:

1) The miracle question:

‘If I would wake up tomorrow and your problem is gone (as by a miracle), but you don’t know its gone. What would be different, what would you do different, how would you notice the miracle has happened?

It’s a strange question and a lot of people might think it stupid, but just give it a try. Make the answer specific with good detail. Focus on what is changed for you. This question will help you find sub objectives your after, it will also give some guidance in what will be enough and it will also let you focus on the future.

2)The scale of change:

To make a scale of change draw a line divide it up in from 0 to 10, 0 for example being unskilled and 10 being skilled enough. Now ask your self: Where am I on this scale? And what in that number, what goes well? Next question is ‘How can I go 1 step up the scale, what is changed then?’. This technique advantages: it will help you visualize your going somewhere, and will also help you take smaller steps (and get you into the flow).

Next step is to pull in some resources, to speed up the process:

  1. Did I solve the problem in a different context?
  2. How did other people do it? What can I learn from that?(By the way don’t try to copy a best practice, make it your own best practice)
  3. Develop sub-solutions.
  4. Look for exceptions, when did it work? How did that work?

One way to pull in some of these resources can be facilitated in the new world of work. In a next post I will focus on how the new world of work can be used in a company consisting of scientists and engineers.

A manager should help you in getting your focus on the solutions (‘what does work?’, ‘What goes well?’,’How will we reach the goal’). And unless he is very certain he can find and take away the root cause very quickly, he should stay away from questions like: ‘What’s wrong?’, ‘What doesn’t work?’, otherwise you might end up with more problems than you started with in the first place.

I’m not to happy about this post yet, please comment and make it better!

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  1. May 8, 2013 at 20:55

    I can\t wait to find out the other 4 steps. I liked the article and I\m still reflecting on the steps you mentioned.

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