Quality Blog


Jim's Gems: Coping with Complex Issues

July 21, 2014

Everyone has been faced with complex issues or problems which had to be confronted and solved. No problem is necessarily easy to solve, but those problems with a higher degree of complexity bring about a whole set of issues. How do you go about solving a complex problem?

Whether the problem is personal or professional, being under pressure causes many of us to push so hard for solutions that we wind up getting little accomplished. Many of us have a tendency to over-think the situation, study the problem from every possible angle and find ourselves collecting huge amounts of data, resulting in over-analyzation or a state of analysis paralysis. The result, then, is more complexity, and the solution still escapes us. We find ourselves trapped in a maze of confusion, afraid of taking a risk for fear of making a mistake.

It seems hard for many of us to tolerate feeling confused for very long. We want certainty, and we want clear answers. Sometimes, however, it is better not to push it. As Albert Einstein once said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Our unconscious, therefore, is an important factor in solving problems.

This means that while we certainly need to collect all of the available information and immerse ourselves in the problem, it also may be important to at some point back off and let it soak. Ideas and solutions germinate in the soil of loose thinking. Creative and productive mental work will continue, even if we are not aware of it. Most peak performers demonstrate this, and researchers confirm it: analysis and intuition are partners in creative work.

People who will not relax their dependence on concrete, countable information are blinded to countless possibilities, because they do not fit into what their mind tells them is logical. However, if you are willing to let go for a while and let your creative subconscious have a turn, you may be surprised by the outcome.

Not all decisions are perfect upfront, but fear of taking a risk that could lead to erroneous results can be paralyzing. It is far better to consider the information and not over-think the situation, take a calculated risk, make a decision to move forward, and be flexible if the plan isn't working.

Think about it...
 

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