Today I’d like to explain how to develop a problem-solving mindset by changing the type of language that we use.

When we have a problem, most of us (myself included!) tend to make it bigger using the wrong type of language.

We risk getting “lost in translation” when we put our problem into words. Indeed, we tend to

  • justify the problem by using the word “Because”;
  • create barriers or impediments to the solution of the problem by using “But”;
  • create conditions for solving the problem by using “If” or “Unless”.

Let me give you an example. Let’s pretend that my problem is that I’m burnt out.

Then, talking to someone about it, or having an internal monologue, I may describe my situation this way:

“I’m burnt out and I need to do something about it…

but there is nothing I can do about it…

because I am the only person who can do the work I do…

and even if I ask someone to do it, I will need to train this person to do it…

and because I don’t have time to train this person, there is nothing I can really do….

unless I ask my boss to have some time off…

but its not really the right time of the year…

because its so cold…

only if I decide to go somewhere warm…

but then when I come back I will have double the things I have to do.

By then, we are all lost in translation and we still have the problem. It only got bigger.

To get to the core of the problem, what we need to do is to reduce the language that we use to a minimum.

We need to use very simple, short, sharp sentences, using a full stop. For example

“I’m burnt out”
“Reduce workload and delegate”
“Have lunch break away from desk”
“Monday to Friday are workdays. Weekend and Bank Holidays relax, fun, catch up with friends”

This way, your mind is focused on the solution.

Don’t use any “but”, (or, if you want to be posh, “however”), no “because”, no “if”, no “unless”. They lead to getting lost in translation and going around and around in circles around the problem without solving it.

Use short, sharp sentences. Whenever possible, use just one word.

“Burn Out – Relax – Fun – Goodbye problem”.
That’s the most effective way of focusing on the solution to a problem. Short and sharp.

Now if I am talking to you and you love to use “But”, “Because”, “If”, “Unless”, then let’s have a chat. Using no excuses, short and sharp, contact me and request your FREE 30-minutes consultation.
I will help you get a problem-solving mindset.

Here’s a video version of this article:

Problem-solving-mindset: the right language to use
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Problem-solving-mindset: the right language to use
Today I'd like to explain how to develop a problem-solving mindset by changing the type of language
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Regina Brancato-Dunderdale
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