How do you deal with a Problem?

Well, maybe the first thing to do is to call it a problem. That means acknowledging that a situation may be something quite serious. Just calling it "difficult" might understate it. Or a "challenge" may not be negative at all, merely rather new and out of one's comfort zone.

The next step is to recognise the two distinct parts of the problem. One is the source and the other is the effect, and ideally you would focus on both. For example, a medical condition could be treated by a change of lifestyle and also professional intervention.

So far so good, but now it gets more complicated. Do you attempt to solve the problem - the cause and the consequences - or manage it? Back with the medical analogy, eliminating both, perhaps with surgery, might be expensive, risky and time consuming, while medication would be an effective, if limited, treatment. A combination of the two responses is also a possible answer, representing an optimal balance of resources and expectations. And, as in business, very often the "best of the second best" is the way to go.


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