So how do you approach a problem? Problem approach is a unique phenomenon, we face it everyday, we will face problems in our lifetime, and if I might guess, you have a problem right now. But how do we approach that particular problem…? Well, none of my business really, but let me share a basic approach to solve a problem.
First there’s the shotgun approach
Yes, this corny termed approach define a problem approach just like how as shotgun buck shot explodes out of the barrel and onto the target. A shotgun buck shot spreads uncontrolled and wherever you aim, you can only target a general area where you expect at least one round of that shot hits the center of the target. There’s also the heavy recoil of the shotgun so your second shot might not be at the same position you took the first shot. Using the analogy of the shotgun, a shotgun approach is just like that, you approach a problem with little consideration and with many trial and errors. Using this approach means that at least when you try to approach a problem hard enough you’ll eventually lead to a conclusion but at the cost of time and effort if you didn’t get it right the first time
Then the sniping approach
Another corny term with similar corny definition. A sniper is the most patient people on earth, as when they want to kill a target, they have to wait for the right time and calculates everything from distance, angle of attack, range, wind speed, even he have to calculate the rhythm of his breath. More often than not, 90% of a sniper hit will be a bull’s-eye, straight to the intended target. So what does it have in common with the sniping approach? D’oh! The sniping approach is altogether different with the shotgun approach whereas using the latter you try to approach and solve a problem with a barrage of ideas, but using the former you take only one or two ideas and solve it with a timely manner.
These approaches differ on a very basic level but are trying to achieve the same goal. When you use a shotgun approach, most of the time you don’t think carefully of what specific problem you are dealing with. But with a barrage of ideas you will eventually solve a problem, and hey, if you are lucky you will solve it as soon as the problem arises. But there it is… There is luck involve on using shotgun approach, so if you are unlucky you will even get nowhere with the problem.
The sniping approach generally takes longer to execute and deals with a problem. Using this approach people will think carefully about which way they are going to take to solve the problem. People don’t just blurbs out ideas, but they take calculated risk, figuring out the pros and cons of each idea carefully. So this is why that “silent” type of people generally talks very little but always comes up with the best of ideas.
But let’s get into the real world shall we? What do you think people will appreciate more, those who solve problem using the shotgun approach or using the sniping approach? Well, off course people will always ask for the swiftest of response, and this is the part where the world is a crazy place to live in. Taken straight from my experience, people appreciates if you answer a problem fast and wrong rather than answering it later but right. It’s not about the result nowadays, but your effort that counts… Is that even right at all? Well, according to me, NO, but it’s how the world turns nowadays.
I may be a bitter man, but how in hell can somebody that answers a wrong answer be appreciated more? Well, it’s a result oriented world, therefore people will always have to answer fast to be taken seriously. So don’t wonder at all if your colleague got promoted because he’s a loud mouth with stupid ideas whereas you think you can do better. The best course of action is to practice expressing your thought using small exercises… Just like what I’m doing now. This blog is a place to train my brain by exploiting small ideas and making it bigger. The goal is to answer a problem fast, but not actually solving it… Confused? It’s a preemptive claim actually, here’s a fine example: When you are in a team and the team is given a question, you blurbs first using a partial idea you have and finish it later. The goal here is to get you recognized first, and by mentioning an unfinished idea, you can polish it to a complete and final one.
A quick unfinished idea will always be better than a finished stupid idea. Just train your brain so you can achieve that state where you can respond fast with a directed problem approach. Don’t let that loud mouth pass over you to that General Manager’s chair.
Phew, a complete article without using weekend rollade…