How to Move Your Team from Problem to Action Plan (free PDF)

Facing a problem that’s making you feel overwhelmed and unable to take action? I have a tool for you! I use this at least once a week with my clients.

Here’s how it works:

1. Write down what you want. Don’t worry about how things are now, or how you’re going to get there, just write down your desired result (#1).

2. Write down where you are currently. What’s the situation right now? By writing down your current reality (#2) and your desired result (#1) you’re able to see the gap between the two.

For some people, asking these two questions is enough. They can jump to #5: Write down your first actionable step. But if you’ve asked 1 and 2 and your next steps aren’t clear, keep going:

3. What is helping and hindering my desired result? What resources, information, tools, and people, do I already have at my disposal? What do I have working in my favor? What are the challenges impeding my progress?

4. What actions do I need to take to close the gap between my desired and current reality? How can I use what is helping me to move beyond what is hindering me?

5. What is the first actionable step I can take?

Here’s an example, so you can see how it works.

Imagine you’re a manager with two employees who can’t seem to get along. Their work is suffering and it’s starting to affect the whole team. You don’t want to solve their problem, but they aren’t doing it on their own.  So you ask yourself: 

1. What do I want?

When I have managers who aren’t getting along, I expect them to acknowledge it. Have a meeting with each other, and figure out how to work through their issue to productively work together. I also expect them to be role models for other people on the team.

2. What’s my current reality?

I have two employees who are mad at each other, but are talking to me about it. They aren’t even saying they want me to fix it. They just keep complaining!

3. What is helping and hindering my desired reality?

What’s helping:

They used to get along well, so they knew how to work together, at one time. One of them is in a new position where she’s trying to prove herself, which might be why she’s being difficult, but when she was in a similar situation in the past, she was able to prove herself without creating problems. Both people have had extensive training in conflict resolution (which I paid for!).

What’s hindering:

  • I haven’t communicated to them that I expect them to work this out on their own.

4. What actions do I need to take to close the gap between my desired and current reality?

  • Write down what I expect of managers and any staff who are having a conflict.
  • Set up a meeting with the two of them and explain what I want, what the current reality is, and my expectations of them.
  • Remind them to use the conflict resolution tools they received in training.
  • Give them a week to work on their issue together, and then meet with me and tell me how it went.

5. What is the first actionable step I can take?

  • Write down what I expect of managers and any staff who are having a conflict.

This process can be used to sort through a variety of organizational dilemmas. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can move your team from problem to action plan.

Try this:

 

Onward and keep tapping your talent,

Cindy

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