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.

What Thoughts Would You Like to Share? My name is Tom O’Leary, and I envision a world in which curiosity shapes leadership. In this world, leaders aren’t boxed in by traditional thinking or established playbooks. They are open to fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, fostering a culture of exploration and learning. My mission is to shift leadership focus from authority, over-measurement and control to curiosity, learning and innovation, empowering leaders to prioritise the essential. My journey, lived in a number of countries and through various languages, has always been driven by a profound sense of curiosity. In fact, 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. I welcome your thoughts, feedback, or personal experiences related to these questions or any insights they may have sparked.