Sometimes I astound myself with my own ability—to be stupid!

This morning was a case in point. I began by speaking with a good friend about my good ideas. They were well-considered, innovative, creative and an excellent solution to the problem. But my friend cut me off before I’d even finished. They weren’t impressed—with the idea or with me. And pretty soon, I wasn’t that impressed with them either. What had gone wrong?

Put simply, I presented them with my solution to our problem, before they even knew there was a problem. I started with the end and planned to work backwards to the beginning. I didn’t engage my friend with the issues. I failed to invite their creative input. I came across with a package—here’s the solution.

Let me tell you, this isn’t the way to solve problems with others. It’s not the way to conduct a marriage, build a team, lead a church, or build collaborative relationships. And it’s damaging to trust.

It’s obvious really—we should start with the problem and work to a solution, together. Co-operation. Teamwork. Share the problem. Share the problem solving. Share the solution. Share the outcome.

The order is P then S. It’s about Partnership and Sharing, People and Synergy, Protecting and Strengthening relationships.

Problem, then Solution.

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