Don’t Solve Today Yesterday’s Problems

[Versione in lingua italiana – Italian Language Version]

One challenge and goal I set for myself every day as a lawyer, entrepreneur, mom and citizen, is to stop myself, and counsel my clients and my loved ones against, trying to solve a problem which has already happened, and is on the way to naturally dissolving with time and change of circumstances.

It happens when an old and no longer relevant issue is brought up at the end of a productive negotiation, which reignites a discussion and sends everyone backwards. It happens when a client insists on bringing forward a court case for vengeance, rather than with the intention of creating a better business (or personal) reality for him/herself.  It happens someone is trying to plan a business structure based on the business’ last year’s needs.

A solution to a problem implemented when the problem is already on its way to resolving itself (because of time or circumstances or a change of priorities) is often bound to re-create that same problem, or the perception that such problem still exists.

The solution to this is to really look at what the issue is here and now, and what it no longer is. To avoid being overzealous and fearful.  To analyze the problem perhaps with the intention of learning from it and then moving on to solving today and tomorrow’s real problems. In order to do this generally it is also useful to mentally create an “expiry date” for issues. A date at which to regularly reassess the situation and carefully evaluate what the actual issue has become and evolved into, and what the new problem resolution goals should be.

This is very important also in negotiations, mediation settings and even in court.  Maintaining the same attitude when circumstances have changed may cystallize a negative position, while often a change of objectives expressed in actions and words is perceived by others who adapt to it consciously or unconsciously modifying often in a significant way the outcome of events.

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Stefania Lucchetti is the founder of Lucchetti-LawCrossBorder

 

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