The solver and the finder

We had an urgent plumbing issue that needed solving recently and I spoke with a few plumbers before making the final decision.

One conversation stuck out – this person, within a few seconds of hearing the problem, outlined what he was going to do to solve the problem. The solution sounded a bit too aggressive for our case and I said as much. His response was – “I do this every day. I know what I’m doing.”

That was the moment he lost our business. Even if his answer was right (I’m not convinced it was), I was worried that he’d not be keeping his eyes open to problems that didn’t fit his existing assumptions.

It reminded me of the many times I’ve made the same mistake – attempting to be the problem solver without spending enough time as the problem finder. As I was on the receiving end this time, I think I’ve developed more empathy for the frustration folks on the other end feel.

Problem finding >> Problem solving.