Testimonials

Recalibrating Life

After working with Patti, I have new passion and energy for all I undertake. Her teachings have enabled me to recalibrate my life, so that I have more time for myself and for what I hold most important – while reaching higher levels of enjoyment and efficiency in my work.

- Leigh O.
Healthcare Management
Who Coaches The CEO?

"Who coaches the CEO? I coach everyone else. Having a coach who helps you see things from multiple perspectives, who has been there and done that so she understands, who can help me sift through, prioritize, strategize, vision, and take this to action – priceless!"
W.F.; CEO, Healthcare


Trusting My Instincts

Trusting my instincts about decision-making was difficult with the changes we had experienced at our firm. After working with Patti, I have much greater confidence in my instincts and my judgment, which has resulted in a greater efficiency in my team and improved the quality of our service.
N.C.; Director of Operations, Transportation Firm


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Testimonials

Recalibrating Life

After working with Patti, I have new passion and energy for all I undertake. Her teachings have enabled me to recalibrate my life, so that I have more time for myself and for what I hold most important – while reaching higher levels of enjoyment and efficiency in my work.

- Leigh O.
Healthcare Management
Who Coaches The CEO?

"Who coaches the CEO? I coach everyone else. Having a coach who helps you see things from multiple perspectives, who has been there and done that so she understands, who can help me sift through, prioritize, strategize, vision, and take this to action – priceless!"
W.F.; CEO, Healthcare


Read More Testimonials »

Taking Your Problem-Solving From Good to Great: The Missing Step

Taking Your Problem-Solving From Good to Great

One of your managers has two employees who argue often about which one of them is responsible for certain tasks assigned to their area…not just once, but a few times over a span of months. Other employees are complaining.

The manager has reported to you that he has had to intervene more than once to solve this, and finally sent them to a conflict management seminar last month. Yet, you just received a report that the two employees are at it again.

You’ve summoned the manager, and will ask him to terminate the two immediately.

But – are they really the problem?

Sometimes the conflict or challenge we think we have identified is not the real problem at all.

Problem-solving is a critical skill that does not receive enough attention in most executive development programs. Yet this one area is the one that most often holds professionals back from being more effective.

Most often, poor problem-solving can be due to just one critical step that is overlooked – getting to the root cause.

You see, the two employees aren’t the root cause of the problem. And because they are not, the problem will arise again and again, no matter who replaces them.

A classic problem-solving model will look something like this:

  1. Identify the problem.
  2. Determine the root cause of the problem.
  3. Come up with possible solutions.
  4. Select what you feel is the best solution.
  5. Implement the solution.
  6. Evaluate the outcome.

Many people will jump over the second step, reacting to what they see as the problem, but which is actually just a symptom of the root cause. This means that any solution they attempt may stop the immediate crisis, but it won’t really fix things.

So how do we get to the bottom of things?

A simple “5 Whys” technique will solve quite a bit.

The 5 Whys technique was developed by Sakichi Toyoda and used within the Toyota Motor Corporation at a critical stage in its manufacturing development. It’s a technique used to explore the cause-and-effect relationships underlying a particular problem.

Let’s see how it works with the example of the two employees:

Two employees continue to create a disturbance in the workplace (the problem).

  1. Why?
    They continue to argue with one another.
  2. Why?
    They do not agree on who will perform which tasks in their area.
  3. Why?
    Each thinks he knows who should perform which task, and their opinions differ.
  4.  Why?
    Their roles and duties are not well-defined so as to clarify who owns what responsibilities within the area.
  5. Why?
    The manager has not taken the time to review roles and responsibilities and to clarify these with his reports.

Now, we could carry this further and add a couple of “Whys,” and this would show that the manager’s boss has not taken the time to investigate why the manager cannot stop the problem.

You see, even though the employees are adults and they are responsible for how they conduct themselves, the root cause of the conflict, unless remedied, will tend to fuel more conflict, no matter who replaces these employees.

So before you react to a perceived problem next time, try the “Five Whys” exercise. I’m interested to see what insights this might provide for you!

 

By | 2017-05-20T14:38:21+00:00 June 29th, 2016|Blog|1 Comment

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One Comment

  1. Judy Cossack June 29, 2016 at 6:32 am - Reply

    Thank you Patti,
    I always enjoy your articles…This was timely and needed. hope you have a blessed day!

    Judy

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