As a management coach and trainer I meet many individuals who say to me they have issues with one particular area, often involving challenging or difficult people.  They will explain what they have done previously to deal with the problem; often they have been doing whatever it is, again and again.  When I ask them what they could do differently, we explore other options, and they eventually come up with some great ideas.  We will then agree on the best plan of action to take their idea forward.

One of the key things we need to remember in all of this is to think differently.  Using the same thinking that doesn’t work isn’t effective, and if we are honest, we could be encouraging whatever the negative behaviour is.

Ok, some top tips regarding changing your thinking:

Ask yourself “What could I do differently” – make it a habit in every problem we face, our Brains are fantastic, and it encourages us to think and look for solutions.  We could take it to another level if we visualised the solution working or happening.

It’s not about blame – we are looking for the most appropriate solution to our problems, and it is indeed not about blaming someone.  Remember we are searching for answers.

Write it down – a great way to remember is to write what we think we should do down.  We don’t want to forget the moment with think we came up with the exact solution we are looking for.

Be honest – as we look for different ways always ask yourself what you could have done better or differently.  This could be your approach or behaviour.

Communicate your findings – if the issue involves another person make sure you let them know what you have done and communicate.  If it means you need to improve, let them know, don’t keep it hidden. People respect people who admit they could have done things better.

We can’t stop or change anything by using the same thinking that caused it or encouraged it in the first place; we have to think differently.  When we realise this, we then start to look for better ways.  We can apply this in everything we do.

Ralph Moody is the founder of Target Training and specialises in trainer and management development.  You can read more about him here.  To see courses where Ralph delivers see our website here.