Are you sure your problem is a binary question?
25 January 2022
People of a certain are remember The Clash’s hit “Should I Stay or Should I Go” – it’s a classic lament that has only two options. Sometimes our paths are limited to only two, but most often – especially in business – there are more than two.
In fact, we often over-simplify our options because our brains quickly become overwhelmed with more than what possibilities come from the world’s unlimited complexity. Unconsciously limiting ourselves keeps us sane, and also keeps us from being paralyzed by the infinite possibilities of the universe. (A bad decision is most often better than none at all.)
Enter humility and collaboration.
If we are humble enough to share our problem with others whom we trust and we collaborate with them around a problem, then we benefit from networked thinking. This is similar to stringing together multiple computers or processors to share the load of a demanding task.
So when you’re alone, most often you can only consider and evaluate two or three options as a solution, but if you are cooperating with two other people who can do the same, suddenly, your problem has more possible solutions, and more mental horsepower to evaluate those solutions.
Bonus: one of the most promising solutions can be improved by someone with a different perspective or experience, making it even better. Having the humility to fully implement collaboration almost always results in more foreword progress on that particular problem. It also strengthens engagement and satisfaction for everyone in the group.
So the next time you find yourself facing a leadership question that seems to have only two possible answers, pause. Ask yourself if there are any other possible answers, and consider collaborating with others who may help.
The result may surprise you.
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