This week, we saw squabbling between political factions take center stage in Washington DC and in Johns Creek. It is very reasonable for citizens to ask that if the incumbents remain in office, can they work together and how?
It seems that too often elected officials jump quickly to arguing about favored solutions, and talk past each other because they have different understandings of the problem to be solved. My approach to successfully working with others is to first carefully study the problem and work to build agreement on the various aspects of the problem being addressed. This requires reaching out to all parties and listening to their concerns and ideas.
Solutions should then be debated and evaluated in the context of how well they address the clearly defined problem. This careful two-step process of defining the problem before jumping into the solutions can appear to be time-consuming, but in the end it has its rewards in resulting in better and more widely accepted solutions, and in avoiding misunderstandings and unproductive effort.
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