Most People Work On The Symptom Not The Problem…

I spoke to a business group recently and ended by taking questions. This was a group of legal and accounting professionals and their questions were many of the same questions general contractors ask. All questions were symptom related and avoided the actual problem. A symptom question would be “How do we get busier?” and a problem question would be “Our director of outreach is getting more potential customers in the door and I want to know how to change the demographic they are reaching?” Symptom as opposed to problem.

To make the shift from symptom to problem requires better questions. Great questions define the actual problem. Poorly framed questions produce only tactics. Tactical answers don’t have the ability to change the result but make you feel like progress is being made toward a worthwhile goal.

Here’s cheat sheet on asking better questions. Start with a question that outlines the actual thing you need to repair. Once you have a clear and true understanding of the actual thing work on simplifying the thing to the greatest extent possible. The last action is to expand the different ways you can get there. In 1958 Dr. Robert Schuller needed to raise $1 million dollars to build his church and that was a lot of money in 1958. If he could find 1 person with $1 million it would be easy… Finding that 1 person would be very difficult. Then he looked at 2 people at $500,000 which was still hard and he finally settled at $100 from 10,000 people. He outlined what he needed, simplified what was needed and expanded the possibilities until he got the right answer.

What is your right answer and how much more time will you spend asking the wrong question?  

My name is Steven Clauson.  I coach people who want help getting where they want to be.  The people I coach are typically already taking action, getting results and ask what’s next and what actions to take to make an even greater impact.  They aren’t afraid to ask for help.  How can I help you?  What actions are you taking?  Those who have a plan and implement that plan lead the pack.  Planning, preparing to win and taking appropriate action means you hear the word “YES” more than ever. Only if you are  one of the few willing to take action, do what’s required and play full out are you likely to hear the word yes more often.  People hearing the word “YES” are winners on the playing field because they play full out and dominate.  For these people results matter.  Tired of results less than you know you can produce?  Call me at 916-230-0176 or visit

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