Small Shifts in Thinking Have Massive Positive Impact

If you are still breathing, you’ve had one or two problems to deal with. We all have them. What separates the successful from the mediocre is how we solve our problems. One problem-solving technique you should master is changing perspectives to redefine the problem.
The way you define a problem is often the key to solving it. Take a current problem that you’re having difficulty solving. Then ask yourself: How can this problem be redefined? If you are looking at a challenge and defining it as a competition problem, consider re-defining it. Change your perspective. Could it be re-defined as a financial problem? A human resource or staffing problem? A technology problem? A communication problem? An education problem?
Let’s consider a business problem. Let’s say you are an independent hearing practice with a Costco Hearing Center in your community that is taking market share from you. You might have defined this problem as a hearing aid manufacturer loyalty problem, or possibly a competition problem. What if you re-define this to see it differently. How about defining this as a story-telling problem?
Consider how the problem would change if you were to tackle it via this alternate definition. What would happen to the problem if…you were a masterful and confident communicator? What if you approached this problem by looking at your business as an emotional transportation business rather than a hearing aid business? People take action based on emotion. How would this problem change if you looked at your marketing and advertising platforms as opportunities to create and tell compelling stories about your practice rather than as a place to offer a cheaper price?
A simple perspective change can open up a whole new world of possible solutions. When you consider only one perspective — one limited way of defining the problem — you automatically rule out an enormous number of potentially viable solutions. But blanket the problem with a multi-perspective attack, and your odds of success increase dramatically.
Often we fall into a pattern of being stuck with a single favorite perspective. For example, if all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. When we look at problems only in black and white, we often miss a better approach to solving them. It’s hard to break the favorite-perspective addiction, but when you start thinking through what it costs in terms of overall effectiveness, that helps provide the push needed to branch out.
Sometimes you’ll find that a multi-perspective solution is best. You may see that there are two or three perspectives which individually aren’t sufficient, but together they can provide a complete solution.
Pull out one of your big hairy problems, and try it for yourself. See what the problem looks like from different angles. What would happen if you threw storytelling at your marketing problem by crafting community engagement programs based on your personal small business story?
The way to define a problem is often the key to solving it. Instead of coming up with the right answer, you can change the problem!

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