12 Questions that Expose the Real Problem

The real problem is the pattern.

Pattern recognition is the issue when the same problem keeps coming back.

12 questions to expose destructive patterns:

  1. What do others say to you that you repeatedly ignore?
  2. How are your current responses the same as last month’s responses?
  3. How are your patterns of speech the same today as they were last year?
  4. What are you constantly complaining about?
  5. Who are your advisors? Notice if advisors are actually affirmers.
  6. What advice have you received? Record at least three responses. Keep saying, “And what else.”
  7. What advice have you rejected? Why?
  8. What advice have you followed? Why?
  9. What are you currently trying that you haven’t tried before?
  10. What are you learning about yourself? Others?
  11. When was the last time conditions were right for you to try something new? Is the timing never right? Are you always intending to do something but never doing it?
  12. When was the last time you changed your mind? About what?

Things don’t change until you change.

The stink you smell might be you.

When employees throw boomerangs:

Listen to the same concern twice. But when every suggestion is inadequate, stop talking. After you hear about the same problem three times, refuse to talk about it again until something changes.

Stop offering solutions because:

  1. Your solution may not be as brilliant as you think.
  2. The solutions you offer might work for you but not for others.
  3. You don’t know as much as you think.
  4. Their pain may not be enough to motivate change.
  5. Someday the solution you offered might be something they come up with on their own.

Recognize patterns or repeat the same problems.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Jessie Porter

What’s at the source of recurring problems?

What suggestions might you offer for leaders who face the same problems over and over?

Bonus material:

How to Break Destructive Patterns (Leadership Freak)

How to Recognize People’s Patterns (Tony Robbins)

The Most Important Leadership Skill You Will Ever Learn (Inc)