There’s a common physical response that is the basis for a lot of our techniques in wrestling. If I snap your neck down, chances are you’re going to resist and pull your neck back up. If I push you back, chances are you’re going to push right back. It’s a natural reaction.

Newton’s 3rd law states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” (In college, there was that awful song, “I dip, you dip, we dip”…ugh!). My point is that we teach people how to act based on how we act ourselves.

In my spare time of watching professional speakers on Youtube, I came across Jim Cathcart who has a very unique perspective on problem solving, the “partners in problem solving” approach. We all experience problem solving in one way or another – arguments with spouses (not in my house though!), conflicts at work, customer service, etc. I can speak from experience that I ALWAYS used to take the offensive. I took the “I’m right and you must somehow make it up to me!” approach. Think of that, I am trying to persuade someone to do something for me while offering nothing up in return, not even politeness nor a wee bit of understanding.

Flirt with the Jim’s “partners in problem solving” approach. Don’t try to persuade someone to do something for you; rather partner with them to develop a resolution. (There are times when partnering just ain’t gonna happen, I know).

If you’re like I used to be (and still am sometimes), try changing your tune. Add a little “I dip, you dip, we dip” to your life :) Be a partner in problem solving. Act in the manner in which you want to acted upon in return.

I want to hear your “partners in problem solving” stories.