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WinWin Problem Solving

Do you feel frustrated because you seem to be struggling with the same nagging issues with yourself and others? Are you ready to solve your problems with win-win solutions? As a practicing Marriage, Family, and Child Therapist, I have discovered that most of my clients' problems were unresolved for a very long period of time. Many individuals had been suffering for over twenty years with the same issue. Often couples were fighting repeatedly over the identical problem for at least thirty years, most of their married life. How unfortunate it is that we are not taught how to communicate, and how to resolve our issues. Being human, it is normal and expected to have problems. The healthy person and couple are not problem free.

However, they are successful because they know how to identify their issues, and how to resolve them. The following guidelines can help you solve your problems so that you can function in a healthier way, learn from your conflicts, and be in harmony with yourself and others. 1. Understand that you can only solve problems when you are in your logical mode (left brain). 2. Begin by expressing all of your emotions by yourself in a constructive way.

For example, if you are angry, you can release your feelings by writing them down, yelling into a pillow, taking a walk, or listening to relaxing music. 3. When you feel calm and clear about the problem, write it down as a question. For example, "How can I have enough time for myself?" 4.

Then write down all of the possible answers to your question. Let your creativity and sense of humor help you. Sometimes the most outrageous ideas become the best solutions. You may even want to ask a friend to assist you. For example: get up earlier, limit my organizational commitments, plan at least two evenings at home, fill in my alone time in my appointment book before I schedule anything else, plan a week-end away every month, say "no" to people without feeling guilty.

5. Now cross off any ideas that you are not willing to accept. Be honest and patient with yourself. You may find that you can only change one or two things at a time, especially if you have been struggling with this issue for awhile. 6.

Look at the remaining solutions and work out the specific details necessary to carry them out. For example, decide which outside commitments you need to let go of, and who you need to say "No" to. Then plan when and how you will address these people. 7.

In order to help you change your behavior patterns, it can be helpful to close your eyes and to visualize yourself spending more time alone, and doing what you want to do. 8. Writing positive thoughts can help you affirm your new patterns. Continue to write, say, sing, or read them until you have integrated your new belief or pattern. Some examples are: "I, (your name), am spending more time by myself and people accept me.

I, (your name), am saying 'no' to other people and I am okay. I, (your name), realize that I need more alone time so that I can rest and rejuvenate, which is a gift to myself and others." 9.

Reward yourself for being willing to solve your problem. You deserve it! In order to solve a conflict with another person, follow the same outline. Be sure that you do not make comments to each other during the brainstorming (#4), so that your creativity will not be stifled. It is also important not to react in any way if either one of you crosses off an idea (#5) that you do not like. Remember that you both have to be able to live with the solutions in order for them to work.

Strive only for win-win solutions and you will be successful. If you do not come to an acceptable agreement, or you still feel upset with yourself or another, then you have probably not worked on the real issue. Explore the actual problem and then begin the process again. This technique can be used successfully with anyone, including your family members, friends, managers, fellow employees, and neighbors. As we solve our issues with ourselves and with the people in our lives, we can be happier, healthier, and more successful. When we can solve our conflicts with win-win solutions with other countries, what a peaceful world this will be.

Copyright 2006 by Helene Rothschild, MS, MA, MFT, a Marriage, Family Therapist, intuitive counselor, speaker, and author. The article is excerts from her book , "ALL YOU NEED IS HART!". She offers phone sessions, teleclasses, books, e-books, MP3 audios, posters, independent studies, and a free newsletter. , 1-888-639-6390.

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