Tuesday, March 29, 2011

recipes for success - what is missing?

OK,  so someone is stuck. You, or someone you are assisting, has the making of a simple problem you can't seem to get unstuck from. You need a quick practice to assist yourself(s) to finding the answer that likely already lies within the deep reaches of your mind. This tool is another I have learned that helps you to figure out what is missing from your plan to achieve success in the situation.

The challenge is to break down the situation to determine if what is missing is

a) your willingness to get done what is necessary to pull through to success or
b) your skills, abilities, aptitude, understanding, knowledge of the subject matter at hand or
c) the circumstances, situation, environment, schedule that would enable you to reach for success.

If someone is not really willing to put in the effort require, sometimes called commitment, then the discussion that follows is around determining why?

Skills and abilities can be the easiest of the three because it comes down to finding a plan to get those skills through training or some other course of learning.

For the environment, it might mean redefining the rules and talking with others about the situation to layout the space to succeed.

A couple examples:
My kids participated in a athletic program which started off with success but after a few evenings there seemed to be a problem with their participation. When I applied this practice to the situation I determined that they had the skills to participate, the environment for success but they were not 100% willing to put in the effort to make it work. In this case they thought if they didn't participate they could instead play video games. Once they realized that the other option instead of participating would be less fun than the program, and not video games, suddenly their commitment was back.

Later we experienced another lull in their participation and what I found that time was that they were still willing, still skilled but in fact now the circumstances in the program had changed. The instructors had slacked off their early rigour with a solid schedule to more of a "guys hanging out" kinda program where they bragged about their accomplishments. For our kids who were hoping to do cool things sitting around listening to cool stories was boring. I spoke to the instructors, and their boss, and in a very short order the kids were excited to be participating.

So, what is missing, the will, the how or the way?

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