The key to helping someone solve problems is to allow them to find solutions that work for them. Especially if it seems that they are capable of identifying what they could do.

If they are not capable, if it is truly outside of their life experience then at least give them a few moments to think about it, without interference. Come back to it later, let them think on it.

If they really can’t come up with anything then you may offer a few solutions however don’t make them mandatory, let go of your need to be right and offer more than one solution. Give them the freedom to select what works for them.

My hubby was telling me how hard he was finding dealing with a couple of of his team members.They were always coming into his office complaining about the work they had to produce and the deadlines they needed to meet. I listened to him, let him get his story out and I identified that he really didn’t want the stress of solving their problems. It added to the work he had to complete.

So we explored options, what could he say or do to help them and himself?

In the end it was exactly what we’ve just gone over in step 6 and now in step 7.

➢ He let them get their story out

➢ He listened

➢ He empathised

➢He understood

He then asked them what could they do or what they would do to solve the problem

➢ They identified what they could do

➢ They were so happy

➢ They thanked him for his help

It does work

In every situation that you are faced with someone else’s problem.

When you provide the space to tell the story, then the solutions become clear.

It also works for us too as we don’t carry the burden of fixing it or offering advice or solutions.


Picture depicting the concept of rewards and punishmentsThe benefit

The outcome is we create children that become more adept at problem solving and they also begin mirroring how we manage it. They become more empathetic, more open to possibilities.

But you ability to do step 6 and 7 really depends on the next step (see you next week…)

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