When your car won’t start, you know that changing the tires won’t help.
Cold soup doesn’t get hotter if you add more salt. (I’ve tried)
Speaking louder to someone who doesn’t understand your language doesn’t help them understand you (happens to me each time I go to this one particular shop in town. Which is ironic because I do actually speak the language. But I digress).
One more example: shutting down communications when there’s a problem won’t fix the issue.
The underlying theme?
Trying to improve the outcome by ‘fixing’ something that ain’t broken.
And don’t think you’re immune: we (myself included) do it, all the time.
We see a system that isn’t getting us the results we want, we make an incorrect assumption about what’s broken in the system, and then we modify what might well be working brilliantly, while ignoring the one thing that is in dire need of fixing.
For example: that daily emailing thing.
I know that if you do it, and stick with it, and get good at it, it’s going to get you inquiries and sales.
But if your list is small and it’s not growing, you won’t get those results.
And if it is growing but you’re getting signups from people who aren’t your ideal buyer: same thing. Cash register says ‘no sale’.
For you to then decide that daily emails just don’t work means you’re making an incorrect assumption.
Back to basics: systems thinking.
Every system is 100% perfect, for the results that it produces.
If you want different or better results, you’ll need to modify the system.
But before you do, it’s REALLY important to analyse the different moving parts in the system, and figure out the bottleneck or weak link or stuck cog, before you make any changes.
Otherwise, you just might break the system even more.
This – looking at what works and what can be improved – is one of the most fun parts of coaching people.
In many cases we discover that there’s a practical, technical thing that needs changing, but very often we find that there’s a psychological reason.
Sometimes in terms of beliefs (i.e. “people just don’t spend money” or things like that) and sometimes in terms of self-image (i.e. “I’m just not good at doing XYZ”).
Whatever the cause or reason, working with a client on changing the status quo is a dream of a job.
Because when you gain insight into what exactly is the thing you need to change in order to get different results, and you decide to take action on making the change?