Three steps for thinking through a problem

1. Think about it from your own point of view. What do you notice? What are you feeling about what you notice? What else in your life or work connects with this problem?

2. Think about it from the point of view of each of the other people or groups involved. What are they noticing that you didn’t notice? What are their priorities as they process the situation? What are their feelings about what they notice?

3. Think about it from the point of view of the situation. This means taking a perspective that allows you to see yourself in relationship to both the other people involved and the circumstances. This is not just “the fly on the wall” position. This is the position in which you become aware of connections you had not noticed between what you notice and what your relationships and circumstances are priming you to notice.

People are often afraid that they do not have time to gather complete information. They are often worried that understanding another point of view will compromise their commitment to getting a particular result. They often think that asking “what else” from the same point of view will eventually get to everything they need. People are often wrong.

If you are committed to a result, take at least three genuinely different points of view on your problem. Gather all the information and then make strategic choices to move toward your goal.