Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”
As I pondered Dr. King’s quote, I realized many of my clients have experienced a lack of hard, solid thinking. I am also guilty of it. Due to competing priorities and time constraints, some clients perceive they cannot take the necessary time to engage in hard, solid thinking and reflection. They want quick solutions. Some clients come up with “half-baked” solutions that do not solve their root issues. For example, I worked with a client (client gave approval to share) who was not getting the direction and support she needed from her manager. Her first solution was to ask others for help since her manager was so busy and frequently gave her positive feedback. As we delved deeper into what she wanted and needed from her manager, she focused her thinking and reflected deeply. She uncovered she needed to take more control of leading her meetings with her manager. She created a strategy for her meetings to get what she needed to increase her effectiveness in her role. As a result, she created a stronger partnership with her manager while taking control and changing her behaviors. The client’s strategy surfaced over time as she became more intentional and gained clarity on her purpose. Hard thinking involves a laser focus on an issue until a solid strategy or solution is uncovered.
A coach’s role is to encourage, challenge, and ask thought-provoking questions that lead the client into solid thinking, self-reflection, and awareness. A coach does not serve her client by promoting the “easy” solution. Solid thinking is about understanding the true purpose, impact, and outcomes of the issue. It is intentionally thinking through an issue over time.
Hard, solid thinking can be painful, time consuming, and definitely rewarding. In order to achieve your goals and Dreams, take a step back and do some hard thinking. Remember, Dr. Martin Luther King had a Dream…!!