In this post I'm suggesting that the words we use can also stop us from finding a solution. As Caroline Myss says "words have power". They have power because words create internal representations in our mind. If the image that comes to mind when you use a word is this
We're all different, and so a few of you may be more inspired by the brick wall, however the majority reading this will think of solutions more easily when imagining the 2nd picture or a similar image that conveys for them movement and ease.
I'm not just talking about words like can't, impossible and never which certainly tell the mind that a solution is out of reach but other words.
In the past I've written about using 'no pain, no gain' as a particularly unhelpful saying. Today I'd like to explore the use of 'problem.'
I'm sure we've all caught ourselves saying we've got a 'problem' and then correcting ourselves to say 'challenge' or even that the 'solution is currently eluding us'. We instinctively understand that labelling something as a problem means we're saying to other people, and our own mind, that it's all the things listed below.
I saw the following job advert on LinkedIn a few weeks ago, and initially responded to say I loved the job title.
Until I considered what it actually meant, and could potentially mean within the organisation.
Does a problem manager just manage the problems - make lists of them, define them, sort them into piles and see success as well managed problems? Do those in the organisation go to the problem manager to gossip and moan about the problems. Perhaps there's a notice board where problems can be viewed for all to admire - ranking problems out of 10, and being particularly pleased when they've identified a 10/10!
It may sound silly, trivial or down right rude to you - and it might be. The proof is in whether problems in the organisation are lower or are now resolved quicker as a result of having a Head of Problem Management or not.
I'd love to explore whether a Head of Solution Management might reduce problems encountered in the organisation - you never know perhaps the Head of Problem Management hands their problems over to the Head of Solution Management for them to be resolved?
If you're getting the results you want there's no need to pay attention to the words you're using. If success is eluding you, or there's an increasing sense of stuckness then why not explore the language you're using to describe the situation. You never know, your language may just be what's keeping the solution at arms length.
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring change inside and out
Available to help you and your team explore how the language and metaphors you're using might be helping or hindering you in finding solutions, and stopping you achieving your
To find out more do get in touch either via firstname.lastname@example.org or +44(0)7770 538159