You know that person who’s a great problem solver? Yeah, she’s not on this list. The ones who don’t get the job done? Here are seven types I’ve come across so far:
1. THE ESCAPIST
What they think: Problem? What problem?
What they see: Everything but the problem.
What they do: Avoid and deny the problem until it hits them in the face.
What they say: “I really don’t see what everyone is getting all worked up about!”
2. THE HAMMER
What they think: I’m going to take care of this if it kills me.
What they see: Nothing but the problem.
What they do: Use brute force to fix what’s broken, even if it means breaking other things. You know the people who whack the TV to fix it?
What they say: “Let’s fuck some shit up!”
3. THE DIPLOMAT
What they think: This is not a problem, this is a challenge.
What they see: A delicate situation where the challenge is in pleasing everyone and not necessarily in fixing the problem.
What they do: Compromise and negotiate ad nauseum until all parties will do anything to get rid of him/her, including solve their own problem.
What they say: “Can’t we all just get along?”
4. THE MATHEMATICIAN
What they think: For every problem there is a solution. Solve for x.
What they see: A series of events or situations that can be solved with rational, logical reasoning and nothing else.
What they do: Argue with you about what’s right and wrong based on fact. Forget how you feel.
What they say: “If you would just look at the facts…”
5. THE MOLE
What they think: Trial and error.
What they see: Nothing really. They heard there was a problem somewhere around here. What’s up?
What they do: Keep poking and prodding and searching until something happens.
What they say: “Hey, I don’t really see what the problem is here. Are you sure there is one?”
6. THE SPOON
What they think: There is no way I’m solving this without some support.
What they see: A mountain ahead of them that can’t be overcome, it can just be dealt with.
What they do: They either feed you or they eat, hoping the problem goes away.
What they say: “Here, have some pie!” or “Let’s have some ice-cream and then we’ll deal with it.”
7. THE ACHY-BREAKY HEART
What they think: I can save the day. Let me tell you all about it.
What they see: An opportunity to talk about, discuss and analyze every angle of the problem from morning to night.
What they do: Talk and talk and talk but never get down to action.
What they say: “Oh you poor, poor thing. Come, let’s talk about it. Again.”
Who would you add to this list?