Secrets to Success


Thursday, May 30, 2002

Seven steps to forever
conquer ‘problems’

Do you ever wish you could eliminate destructive "problems" in your business, career or life? Would you like to transform "frustration" with people or situations into rapid growth for your career or business? If you answered yes to either question, you will find these seven proven steps essential in helping you conquer your "problems."

Not long ago I was out with a group of business owners having what was supposed to be an enjoyable dinner. The "enjoyable" part was quickly becoming questionable due to the number of problems being discussed in an emotionally charged manner. Just when things looked as if they would go quickly downhill, one of my mentors stepped in. He started asking some pointed questions in order to redirect the conversation toward a more positive tone. In less than an hour I witnessed these business leaders make major shifts in their ability to conquer problems and focus on solutions.

What did my mentor say that made such a dramatic improvement in the atmosphere at the table that night? It was a process my mentor used with me while I went through similar struggles running two businesses simultaneously. That evening, I was able to see the process from a different perspective -- as a casual observer. This "neutral" vantage point allowed me to distill what we now call a 7-Step System for Conquering Problems.

We've used this process time and time again with business coaching clients and each time the results have been outstanding. For your benefit, I'd like to help you get going with this process today by sharing the short version of these seven steps with you.

Step 1

Recognize there is a solution to every challenge. Every person that reaches a significant level of achievement approaches each non-desirable situation with a mind-set that there must be a solution.

Step 2

Frame situations in positive language. For example, rather than having a "problem" you should see a "challenge" waiting for your expertise. Solutions focused thinking demands positive language.

Step 3

Clearly define the situation or challenge in writing. Often just writing out a challenging situation in detail can generate solutions on the spot.

Step 4

Determine the contributing causes to the current situation. Are any of the causes still in play? If they are, take immediate action to stop them. If they are not, take note to be sure you do not allow yourself to learn the same lesson over and over again.

Step 5

When working on solutions, focus on what is RIGHT first. Ask yourself "What would be the ideal action to take in this situation?" Now is not the time to worry about what is feasible and what is not. First, focus on the right action to take.

Step 6

From this point on, focus ONLY on solutions. Proactive achievers who make lasting improvements forget the challenge itself and stay focused on the solutions as they move forward.

Step 7

Make a clear decision based on your options for solutions. A specific decision based on limited information is better than no decision at all for most situations. Begin to take action on your solution immediately!

Whether you're the owner of a growing business, manager of a diverse team of individuals or simply trying to make life simpler for yourself, you can conquer "problems" forever. I promise that if you persistently follow these 7-steps, you'll notice your entire attitude toward challenges shift.

Those "undesirable" situations you previously viewed as blocks in your way will be transformed into the very foundation you stand on to reach the next level of your growth and achievement.

If you would like to read the 7 Sure-Fire Steps complete with coaches notes and examples, send me an email and I'll make sure you get to see the unabridged version.

John-Paul Micek is the lead business coach
and chief operating officer of RPM Success Group. Reach
him at or (888) 334-8151.

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