Let’s never confuse being nice with not getting what we want. Yes, we should be nice…and we should get what we want. But, what about those times when the other person just doesn’t seem to “get the drift” and understand what he or she can do in order to help?
In other words, they seem to be living in the problem and not the solution. And, let’s face it, the majority of people grow up problem-oriented as opposed to solution-oriented. How can we overcome that, and create a win for all?
Martin from Pennsylvania writes:
“Being nice is great, but what if the person you’re dealing with just isn’t providing the help you need and you have no other option? Do you walk away and let it go at that? Why should their problem be your problem. That seems very dissatisfying to me. Do I have to simply accept that?
Martin, that’s an excellent question. Although there are times we do have to just walk away and say “Next”, those times are quite rare. In fact, extremely rare. Keep in mind that it’s “WINNING” Without Intimidation we are talking about, not “losing” (either you or they).
What we often need to do, however, is to help the other person – as my friend, Thomas Hudson says – “live in the solution instead of the problem.” As long as this is done with tact and kindness, everyone wins.
International Leadership authority and mega-bestselling author, Dr. John Maxwell tells the story of the time he ordered a double cheeseburger. The counter person told him they don’t serve double cheeseburgers. Dr. Maxwell asked, “Are you sure?” The young fellow replied, “Absolutely sure.”
Dr. Maxwell, in a very polite manner, then asked, “I’ll tell you what then – could you possibly make me two cheeseburgers, but on the second one, leave out the bread?”
The answer? “Sure, no problem.” 🙂
Your goal (since it probably won’t be the other person’s) is to always live in the solution. Acknowledge the problem but focus on the solution. As you do this more and more, it will become natural to you and half the fun.
So, remember, for the most part, the recipe to dealing with those living In the problem…is to add just a touch of solution.
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Reading Bob Burg’s books began a “re-volution” in my process of thinking about my dealings with the business aspect of my work, which is rooted in conveying the subtle realities and benefits of the music of Mozart in our daily lives to people>especially to children. I am learning from Bob Burg, and am grateful to have the openness of mind at this point in my life to admit that. Thanks. Wayne
WOW – thank you, Wayne. I had no idea. What a nice comment to see. Thank you so much!!
Wonderfully said Bob. I love Dr. John Maxwell. I’m actually reading his new book “Everyone Communicates Few Connect”. Its quite a read, so much stuff in each page.
Thank you for this reminder. Each day I “get to” remind myself to always “add just a touch of solutions”. Its not just when I’m designing websites, but in my personal life as well. Daily interactions, no matter what occasion demands this, because in the end, like you said, “everyone wins”.
And what better way to live, knowing you’re able to commune with the people you surround yourself or interact with. Words of wisdom & encouragement indeed. Thanks Bob!
Thank you, Cesar. Yes, I’m a big fan of Dr. Maxwell’s, as well. And, I’m also reading that book right now. 🙂 I appreciate all that you said, and know you well enough to know that you operate every aspect of your life in this way, my friend. Keep up the great work!!
Once again, your timing is impeccable. Spent Friday with a client who might choose death over letting someone else’s ignorance go unnoticed. I feel like a broken record playing “so what can you do about it? Focus on the solution, not the problem…..” I LOVE this cheeseburger story and look forward to sharing it. Thanks again Bob!
I was invited to lunch with a friend at his private club. When I asked for a decaf coffee or hot tea, the waiter said that their hot water machine was broken so he wouldn’t be able to serve me a hot beverage. Uh… okay. Not wanting to waste any more time on it, I said water would be fine.
My friend, being both kind and tactful, asked the waiter if he couldn’t heat water in a pan on the stove (hey, there’s an idea!). The poor guy still seemed confused so we let him off the hook. We’re not sure if it was that far out of the box or maybe he was terrified of asking the chef to boil water. Either way I was resigned to a cold beverage, even though we’d figured out the solution for him.
Apparently he just need a few minutes to think it out, because I got a fresh cup of decaf not five minutes later!
Thanks for your enlightening post, Bob! As I see it, those of us who are living consciously — aware of how we can be of service and focus on solutions — can set the example for others. It’s not always easy to live in the moment, but it’s so much more fulfilling. Love your cheeseburger example too. I’m reading Deepak Chopra’s book, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,” and it has many parallels to your messages. Have you read it? Keep up the great writing!