Does This Affect Me? Do I Need to Do Something?

From experience it has become apparent that we often see problems as objective hard things. They are not. They are constructs. What may be a problem for one person may be a windfall for another. I therefore find that rather than start from the position of seeing the world through problems, it helps to reverse the burden of proof:

  • There is no problem.
  • There may be a problem, but I can’t do anything about it.
  • There is a problem, and I may be able to do something about it.

This eliminates most “problems” and allows me to focus on the ones that both affect me and are somehow within my control.

  1. Can this situation be ignored?
  2. If not, how exactly does it affect me (us)?
  3. What might a resolution look like?
  4. What options do I (we) have?
  5. Who or what might be able to help?
  6. What is the next step?

Want to explore this further? Then check out Problem Framing and Reframing.

Questions in the Image:

  • How does this qualify as a problem?
  • Does it affect me?
  • Do I need to do something?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

Problem Framing and Reframing provides a comprehensive overview of the above six question framework.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day. As my kids prepared for school this morning it felt like chaos reigned and yet all was good in the world. I wondered: Where might I benefit from some chaos in my work? Something unexpected that challenges what I do and how I do it.

About Tom O’Leary

My mission is to help others think differently – meaning more broadly and deeply – and thereby make better decisions. The key to thinking differently lies in our curiosity.

The more we question, the more possible answers we uncover, and the more we expand what we thought possible. Life has taught me that possibility lies not so much in seeking answers but in learning to ask better questions – the ones that help prioritise what is truly essential.

And yet, in a culture obsessed with efficiency and productivity, the paradox is that much energy and resources are wasted by a bias towards action over contemplation. If you are answering the wrong question, it doesn’t matter how ‘hard’ you work, you are still answering the wrong question.

That is why I am a big advocate of nurturing curiosity and innovative thinking at all ages, particularly amongst leaders because of the impact they have on us all. In my vision, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are curious, open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning.

How Might Tom Help?

  1. My first invitation is to take maximum advantage of the free content on this site.
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