Do you have monkey problems?

Hi everyone, say Hi to Mike! “

Mike looks cute, but nobody likes him. Mike represents the problems our staff or colleagues face everyday at work. Everyone has their own monkey, and they share their monkey (problems) with you everyday.

However, the problems come when people leave their monkey with you, and expect you to take care of them. In the workplace, this is akin to your colleagues coming to you to share their problems with you, and then expect you to be the one to solve it. Their problems have become your problem.

One monkey is okay. The trouble starts when everyone passes you his or her monkey, and the next time you know, you are running a zoo. Every monkey is there to pull your hair and mess you up big time.

So how can you help your colleagues with their problems, and at the same time, not make you the one who solves it for them? Remember, it is their monkey, not yours.

Watch the video below to find out more:

So what can you do?

You can use solution focused conversations, and this is what I been invited to speak to many organisations recently. It is a philosophy, which employs set of a powerful set of assumptions and uses questions that shift a person from ‘problem-talk’ to ‘solution-talk’.

People often know what they are unhappy/frustrated/angry/_____________ (insert negative feelings here) about, but not many people focus on what they want, discover possibilities and solutions themselves.

When you help people focus on what they want, the feelings of __________ (whatever negative emotions above) all the sudden do not be the focal point and they slowly diminish. You actually get better and more resourceful when you focus on what makes you happy, satisfied, excited, motivated, rather than the opposite.

After you have spent time listening what the issue is, you can start asking the following question to get the person to think clearly.

“What are your best hopes out of this situation?”

Once a person gets a clear understanding of what they want, your job is to help them find out what is exactly “better” is and how they can move forward towards a preferred future. This preferred future is sometimes life without the problems or a specific desired best outcome. This is important because if the person does not have an understanding of a ‘better future’, they will still wallow in the problem.

When a person decides to move towards that direction of a better future, they start examining the resources needed to move forward. This helps people solve their own problems, rather than you do it for them.

Are you a person who holds on to monkeys passed to you by other people? Well, it is time to be solution focused, so you can pass the monkeys back to them and help them to be self-reliant!

If you are keen to learn in-depth skills that will help shift a person from a problem focused to a solution focused mind-set, guide them towards their goals with powerful questioning techniques, and help them be resourceful in overcoming their situations, I can share with you how Solution Focused Techniques can help you. 

Picture of Kenneth Kwan, CSP
Kenneth Kwan, CSP

Kenneth Kwan is an internationally recognized Author, Global Leadership and Motivational Speaker, renowned for his ability to inspire and empower audiences worldwide. With over a decade of experience, he has spoken to leaders from 40 countries, helping transform cultures and shift mindsets within Multi-National Companies (MNCs) and Government Organizations. Kenneth’s expertise in solution-focused thinking and strategic planning has guided numerous businesses toward significant results and high-performance environments. Featured in esteemed media outlets like Channel News Asia and Malaysia's BFM89.9, his insights on leadership and motivation are highly sought after. Kenneth's book, "Small Steps To Big Changes," showcases his profound wisdom and practical strategies, making a lasting impact in lectures and training programs across the region.