So, Really, What is the Problem?

We’re all too keen to explain why we can’t do something. The sentence starts, “It failed because…” and you can complete the ending yourself: our people, our product, our systems, our skills, we knew it would, we felt it was wrong, they didn’t understand, etc.

It is as if having a thing/person/skill to blame explains it all.

Well, yes and no.

In the interests of understanding why something ‘fails’ and what we might be able to do to stop that happening, then we need to see that there are different categories of reasons for failure.

One is a technical problem or a problem with our skills. This is the most straightforward of our failings. A technical/skills problem can be resolved by learning/buying the appropriate or relevant fix, be it new software or hardware or training.

A problem with our attitude or a problem with our approach is tougher to resolve. Often, we think or we feel that we can’t do something. As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

How many people think they can’t do public speaking or networking or cold call sales. While there may be skills problems, they can be solved. The belief that “we’re no good at…” is a typical attitude/approach issue. Often this needs more than just a bit of training.

While improving skills or technical levels can be relatively quick, improving mindset can be much tougher.

My point is this. Too often we assume we can’t do, say, public speaking because we don’t have the skills. The reality is that the problem is probably one of mindset.

We need to understand the root causes of our failings and weaknesses: technical or mindset. Be honest about the root causes and provide the relevant solutions.