Welcome to DORO – Pull Up a Chair
by Mia Jackson
“Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way.”
— Satchel Paige
My daughter began her professional career recently. We chat or text each evening as she navigates her way about the corporate field. Recently, she had a situation where there was a missed communication, a skipped deadline and lots of finger pointing. It was new territory for her, but also a big lesson for me at the same time.
When the young businesswoman called and began rambling about the situation, I stopped her quickly. “Solve it first, then respond to any comments or questions that land across your desk.” She was a bit frustrated at first, because what she’d learned from me while growing up was this out-loud processing of situations. I talked myself through things in the car, in the kitchen, combing her hair — I was always “talking” about or discussing a situation. It took me decades to learn that a different kind of processing was necessary.
Rather than listen to the office politics of the moment, I told her to get three options to fix it, deliver them and then see where everything stood when the dust cleared. Sure enough, she worked out an awesome alternative and was rewarded with a larger project. This approach ended all the word-boxing with a great solution that was even better than the original; there’s not much one can argue with success. Everyone moved on to the next task and life was fine.
The Solve-then-Respond approach to work or life situations forces you to focus on alternative solutions that can lead a project to ultimate success. You won’t have time to craft a tersely worded email. In the minutes it takes to check your spelling of respectfully, you can better assess the task at hand and move forward positively. Once you’ve determined the most appropriate solution, it’s much easier to move on. And you don’t need a dictionary to spell thanks.