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
A few weeks ago, my fiancé and I took on a serious project: wall mounting three separate TVs on a Saturday afternoon. This may not sound like a big deal. But I’m not particularly handy. We’ve worked on other house projects together in the past, things have gone terribly wrong. Lots of yelling, blame passed around, and eventually quitting halfway through. So, for us this would be no small feat.

We began in the master bedroom. We were able to get the first TV mounted without incident – perfectly level and the exact right height. The second TV was going in the office. This time there were a few hiccups, and it took about 30 minutes longer than the first. In the end, we got it hung without too much trouble.
 
Then came the last TV in the guest room. Different story altogether. The TV was the smallest of the three. The mounting rack was also smaller and, as we eventually learned, not adjustable. It wasn’t wide enough to reach the studs. Because of the location of the electrical outlet, it also had to be placed either much higher or lower than we’d prefer. We drilled a few errant holes in the process. But with the help of drywall anchors, we eventually got the TV hung. It was well secured to the wall, the height was fine, and it was perfectly level . . .
 
. . . However, one of the many joys of owning a very, very old house is that sometimes walls, floors, and even ceilings are not exactly even – or really all that close to being even. As we stepped back and proudly took in our hard work, we realized that while the TV was level, the ceiling was not. In fact, that the ceiling had a noticeable angle. Of course this threw off everything, because it drew attention to the fact that either the TV or ceiling was crooked.
 
The arguing ensued. I wanted to start all over, without really knowing how to correct the problem or any sort of plan. My fiancé said “who cares” and was ready to quit. As I started taking tools downstairs and sweeping up drywall, though, I couldn’t stop staring at this stupid TV. It took a lot of convincing, but I eventually wore her down enough to try again. We sat staring at the TV, then the ceiling, then back to the TV, trying to determine what to do. My fiancé had the idea to intentionally hang the TV at an angle so it would at least appear to be straight. So we took the TV down, drilled new holes, and hung it this time at a slight angle. The result? It looked perfect. The crooked ceiling became unnoticeable, and the TV looked to be perfectly level. Without knowing about it, it would be imperceptible. We were so relieved and excited that we actually high-fived each other. It was great.
 
One of Funds For Learning’s GuideMarks is being solution-minded. It encompasses the following ideas:
  • 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
I think this story illustrates pretty well the GuideMark. We certainly encountered resistance and problems throughout the project. But we managed to stay positive (for the most part) and finish the job. Together, we also developed a creative approach to solve the problem. It may not have been ideal. But we were able to find a solution under poor circumstances and enjoy what was left of our Saturday.
 
For me, this story also reinforced the importance and benefit of being solution-minded. It would have been easier to leave the TV crooked, hoping no one would notice. But I never would have been able to stop thinking about it, and it would have continued to bother me. With some help and convincing, we focused on a solution and ended up with a much better result.

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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