In life and work, there are two ways to approach a problem. You can talk about a problem, or you can solve the problem.
The problem talker spends all of his time complaining about the problem.
“Boss, this budgeting process is so inefficient and a waste of time.”
“The way we orient new employees to the company is so confusing.”
“I hate how that one tree branch blocks the stop sign at the intersection; someone should tell the city to fix it.”
The problem with being only a problem talker is that complaining about a problem doesn’t actually change the situation for the better.
In many cases, being a problem talker (or complainer) feels good.
The problem is always someone else’s fault and responsibility. It’s easy to see yourself as superior to others because you pointed out a problem and criticized others for it.
In contrast, the problem solver not only notices the problem but also decides to solve the problem outright, or at least takes the first one or two steps needed to find an appropriate solution.
The problem solver notices the budgeting process is inefficient and proposes an alternative approach that would work better.
The problem solver notices that the new employee orientation is confusing. He also writes up a new employee checklist to help new hires remember what they need to do on their first days on the job.
The problem solver notices a tree branch is blocking a stop sign creating a safety problem… and takes the five minutes to call city officials to let them know of the problem and its exact location.
Problem talkers add no value to an organization. Problem solvers are worth their weight in gold.
From an employer’s perspective, you can never have enough problem solvers in your company.
Guess which approach to problems will benefit your career more?
Career acceleration isn’t rocket science. It’s just about making the extra effort to do things that others typically won’t.
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