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How to Solve Group Problems

Working as a group can be hard, but there are ways to make it easier.

By
Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #160

People are scared of change. That’s why coin collectors in tollbooths wear gloves. If you’d seen where that change has been, you’d be scared, too. Some of your charming co-workers will oppose your plan simply because they’re scared of change but don’t want to admit it. So they’ll come up with all kinds of reasons why you shouldn’t even try the group solution.

You can defeat them all in one fell swoop by framing the new system explicitly as a time-limited experiment. Tell people you’d like to try the new system for three weeks and then review how it’s working. Then and there, schedule the date everyone will adopt the new system, and schedule the meeting to review the new system. Now, no one can raise objections based on the assumption that the new system won’t work, since you’re proposing an experiment, not a permanent change.

You may find out that you come up with different solutions that you’re currently thinking. That’s fine. You expect them to change to make your life convenient; this may give you a chance to try that on for size. But you’ll all win if you come up with a group goal to solve a group problem. Let everyone have a say in how you solve the problem, and explicitly schedule both the adoption and re-evaluation of the project when it’s done.

Work Less, Do More, and have a Great Life!

RESOURCES:

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Constraints – Information about the Theory of constraints

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.