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Learning to dance in the rain: Re-framing problems to find solutions.

"Let's get our raincoats!" shouted my five year old.

We had been sitting outside for a picnic to get some fresh air. We were on day 13 of self-isolation.

Suddenly the grey clouds made themselves known and it spotted with rain. "Quick, let's get inside!" I called.

We often try to solve problems in a linear fashion, based on our past experiences. For me, rain on a picnic means the end of the fun.

My son's response (still daydreaming) was to immediately re-frame the situation. "Let's get our raincoats and wellies!".

He wasn't waiting for the storm to pass, he wanted to dance in the rain.

In our current situation, it's easy to feel like rain is stopping play in all possible interpretations of the phrase. It's easy to feel negative. To feel hopeless. To feel defeated.

But it doesn't have to be like that. Once we've honoured and addressed denial, anger, grief, sadness and got in to acceptance, we can radically re-frame our challenges and find solutions. Linear, 'last time this happened' thinking no longer serves us.

So what can you do? Re-frame the challenge.

Either in a reflective discussion or self-coached journalling, ask these RAIN DANCE questions:

  • Root Cause - ask yourself why several time to dig the layers to the core problem. Is there an error in the reasoning?

  • Accurate description - how does it look to me? What are other stakeholders' point of view?

  • Influence – what can you control at this time? List all the things.

  • Now what? — what would I be doing if I’d solved the problem? Can I start doing any of that right now?

  • Do as your hero — What would X do? How would one of my leadership / moral / ideal heroes approach this problem?

  • Amusement - what's the funny side?

  • New Opportunities - what silver linings are lurking in this cloud?

  • Context — what else could this mean? In 10 years, what might you wish you chosen? What are my values and what solutions fit them best?

  • Education - what have I learnt and what can I learn from this?

If you need help to discuss your options and coaching through these prompts, get in touch for upcoming webinars at a range of price points to help support you in these strange times.

If you get stuck, do a 'mindless' activity such as wash the dishes, go for a walk, solo bike ride, have a shower, something to occupy you physically but leaves you the head space to ruminate on the challenges you face.

I'd love to hear how you get on and I hope you find your way to enjoy dancing in the rain!

Photo: Gage Walker on Unsplash

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