A simple technique for resolving difficult issues

A simple technique for resolving difficult issues

Sid Smith

When tackling a challenging issue one of two things might happen:

  1. You circle around the root of the issue to avoid conflict; or,
  2. Emotions flair as people defend their positions and beliefs.

In either case, the issue remains unresolved.

Here’s a technique for quickly getting to the heart of an issue and keeping things from getting personal…

When approaching a difficult and/or emotional issue, take a moment before you begin discussing the issue to remind everyone to focus on the greater good of the company. “As we IDS this issue, I want you to leave your ego outside and only focus on the greater good of our team and the company.” Gain 100% agreement that what’s past is past and the goal is improving things for everyone.

The reason this works so well is that it allows people to let their guard down as you delve into the root of the issue. The first step of the IDS process is to “Identify the root cause” of the issue, and this often requires a deep dive into WHY it’s an issue. Done with the greater good in mind and without blame, you’ll find that the real cause surfaces quickly, with a reasonable solution following on its heels.

Then, remember to spend 60% of your time Identifying the root cause of the issue, 30% Discussing solutions, and 10% on “Solve” (what you’re going to do). That’s the IDS process.



Sid: 971-678-1495
Eric: 503-635-2319