We ve carefully described the gap and are now listening to see if the problem is due to motivation or ability. In this chapter, we examined the ability side of the model. When the other person isn t able, it s our job to make it easy.
When facing ability barriers, make impossible tasks possible and nasty tasks less nasty. In short, when others face ability barriers, make it easy.
Jointly explore root causes. Take care to avoid jumping in with your own solutions. Empower others by allowing them to take part in diagnosing the real cause and coming up with workable solutions. Ask others for their ideas. Remember the all-important question: What do you think it ll take?
When others can t identify all of the causes, jointly explore the underlying forces ”include self, others, and things. Remember the model. When necessary, stimulate the brainstorming process by including your own view of what some of the barriers may be.
Once you re finished with surfacing and resolving ability barriers, pop the question. Check to see if others are willing to do what s required once you ve taken steps to enable them. Just because they can do something, doesn t mean they re willing.
For a list of icebreakers to help you pop the question in finishing off a problem-solving discussion, visit www.crucialconfrontations.com/book.
Now it s time to move on to the next problem. What happens if you re in the middle of problem solving and a whole new problem comes up? Do you dare deal with it? Do you dare not? How can you stay both focused and flexible?