How do you solve problems?

When I have to solve a problem, I need silence, time, and no interruptions. For most of my life I assumed this was how everybody did it, and noisy and more collaborative approaches struck me as just invasive or dumb. Thanks to my sister, who forced me to take a psychological test that defined my “workplace personality,” I learned that my way of solving problems is just one of many effective approaches.

What I take for interruptions are what others think of asking for help. What I take for needless time-wasting in chatty meetings others think of as necessary collaboration. I still despise either of those approaches, but I do know they can be valuable and that others think of them as work.

So, when life presents you with a challenge, what’s your approach? Retreat or collaboration? What drives you nuts about the way your colleagues approach problems?


  1. If I feel I understand the challenge, not in a vacuum but after asking questions, etc, than I just get on with it without input or additional decision by committee. The only item that irritates me is when others cannot or will not make a decision. Anything else I chalk up to, “Hey, that’s how they do it.”

      1. I hope, before it needs to be made. It is sometimes immediate, sometimes it stews for a bit. Small decisions, big decisions, I attempt to not let all the unknowns dictate lack of action.

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