You can’t stop the waves , but you can learn to surf. Changes, challenges and problems can arise at any time, whether you like it or not! So it’s important to identify the things that you can and cannot control.
Imagine a difficult situation you have encountered today or at any other time. How did you deal with it? Where you able to stop and rationally think it through? Or did you completely or even partially fall apart? How you respond to problems determines how successful you will likely be in solving them.
You will not always be able to resolve a situation in the way that you would like, but you need to take control when you can, and act decisively when you can not.
So how can you solve problems or challenging situations. I use a method which I read in a book called The Critically Reflective Practitioner by Neil Thompson and Sue Thompson. It’s a versatile problem solving and time and stress management tool that identifies 3 ways to respond to challenges;
1) Control : Identify the issues or elements of the situation that you control
2) Influence : Identify the elements that you can’t control, but that you can influence
3) Accept : Identify the things that you can neither control nor influence, and adapt accordingly.
An easy way to remember is using the acronym
Understanding these potential responses helps you put problems in perspective more easily and easily get a sense of what you can and cannot accomplish. This then enables you to focus your efforts where they will have the most impact.
So next time you find yourself dealing with a challenge or problem apply this C.I.A. You will be surprised how quickly you will resolve issues and move on to other more productive things to do with your time and stress.
Let me know how you get on.