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Evaluate a problem by viewing it from three different angles

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When you’re struggling with a nagging problem—from a personnel dispute to a troubling trend in your financial reports—assess the situation wearing three hats. First, the easy part: Ask yourself, “What are the best solutions?” Second, examine the problem from the viewpoint of one of your colleagues who’s immersed in it. Pretend you’re this person and ask yourself the same “best solutions” question. Finally, imagine that you’re a neutral third party who can rise above organizational biases to dissect the issue. From these three vantage points, you can see and tackle the problem more thoroughly.

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