SOLUTION-MINDED
  • Developing creative approaches to fulfill the needs of others
  • Striving to succeed and staying positive even when encountering resistance
  • Searching for a resolution to satisfy the needs and requirements of all parties

COMMENTARY
We’ve all heard the age-old adage that anything can be fixed with bailing wire, duct tape, and/or WD-40. I might add super glue to that list, but generally speaking, from my experience, this is a fairly on point statement. From fixing a broken toy to repairing a vehicle, or even administering first aid, these are resources that can come in very handy in a pinch, combined with the right knowledge and experience. When I think about this phrase, preparedness comes to mind and how it directly relates to one of Funds For Learning’s GuideMarks, being Solution-Minded. This GuideMark involves actively serving and providing solutions to meet the needs of others and being prepared or equipped with the necessary resources and knowledge to address those needs.

Most that know me, are aware that I carry a backpack with me pretty much everywhere I go. What are the contents of my bag? No, it doesn’t contain bailing wire or WD-40 (most of the time), but it does have items like a multi-tool, duct tape, first aid kit, and other items that I have found to be essential in helping to resolve problems and assist others. It is very similar to keeping a four-way, set of jumper cables, and a small set of essential tools in your vehicle, but tailored to everyday life circumstances that may be encountered. 

Additionally, over time I have added to, removed, and changed many of these items, in order to better aid in overcoming challenges or problems that I and others around me have experienced. For instance, I have changed the multi-tool that I carry multiple times, replacing it with one that has more capabilities or a specific tool or tools that I might frequently need. Often times, I simply come across a better method to organize the items or find more compact and lighter options, for the sake of size and weight. This process of actively evaluating the tools and resources, is essential to increasing the capabilities and effectiveness in the ability to meet the needs of others. 

Obviously, the resources necessary in an office setting are going to differ from what may be needed to help someone fix a car, bandage an injury, etc. but the intentional thought process is not that different. Very similar to everyday unexpected life challenges, the E-rate world is everchanging and requires flexibility and actively searching out new and improved solutions to meet the needs of all stakeholders. Though this is not simple and it is a continuously moving target, it is obtainable by learning from overcoming obstacles, exploring new options and opportunities, and continually adapting to develop new creative solutions. ​​​​​​​ 

Key Words and Phrases
Strive for an answer; Find a new way; Seek a resolution; Persevere; Solve a problem; Deliver the results; Don’t stop at the first hurdle; Address the need.

Opposite Terms
Close-minded; Decline; Reject; Refuse.

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GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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