If there’s something that I have learnt during my 17 years as a business coach, it is to look for the problem behind the problem. Something that I was reminded of the other day, during my first meeting with a new client.
The problem that they wanted me to help them fix:
A lower than desired reach – and a scattered social media approach.
They explained it to me in the following way:
“Of course, we know that we need social media to reach more people – we just don’t know what kind of content to share.”
The client thought for another moment, then continued:
“Come to think of it, we don’t even know if we want to reach more people!”
That comment confused me. So, I asked some more questions: why wouldn’t they want a greater reach?
Suddenly, we had arrived at the problem behind the problem:
The whole point of reaching a bigger audience is to get more clients. But this particular client wasn’t sure that they had the desire or the muscle to take on more than what they already had!
Once that problem behind the problem had surfaced, our conversation had to go in a different direction.
It simply didn’t make sense to talk about social media strategy before the problem behind the problem – a lack of clarity on priorities, goals and capabilities – had been addressed.
When we are faced with a challenge, we have a choice:
We can jump on a quick fix.
Or we can do a little digging, evaluate our options – and then choose our course of action.
The first one may seem more attractive, because it’s fast and tangible.
But we shouldn’t confuse speed with effectiveness.
What is a problem that you are currently facing? How are you choosing to deal with it?