What You’ll Learn Today:

  • A great tool for figuring out the real or “root cause” of a problem in your relationship or life

Top Take-A-Ways:

In the business world we have lots of great tools for what we call “Root Cause Analysis” or RCA. This is usually part of quality management in a company. 

Root Cause Analysis is just what it sounds like: you’re trying to break down what seems like a big problem into its underlying causes so you can tackle it. 

With RCA, you’re identifying 4 specific things:

  1. What happened
  2. How it happened
  3. Why it happened…so that (and here’s the really important part)
  4. You can identify specific actions to prevent this issue from happening again in the future.

What I want to do today is something different. We all know that there are times when situations go well and times when that same situation goes poorly. 

I want to work back from something that went well, to see what happened. But, we’re not looking back so we can prevent it, but so that we can repeat it again in the future!

The tool I’m going to teach you today I call the Was or Was Not Tool. It’s adapted from something called the “Is or Is Not” method that’s most often used in quality management in organizations, especially in manufacturing.

 

There are three main reasons why doing this exercise is great for your relationship and your happiness level:

First, you can identify key factors needed to make certain recurring situations successful (everything from vacations, to dinner to homework times). 

When you know what the requirements are for success it’s MUCH easier to replicate and make happen more often. You can change systems, add resources, or take away obstacles so things can consistently run more smoothly.

Second, I can pretty much guarantee that, if you do this enough, you’ll notice you need a lot of the same things, you have many of the same requirements, to make situations work. Maybe you always need to be self-aware, focus on patience or start things 10 minutes earlier than you think. 

You’ll definitely notice themes and be able to simplify your life by focusing on these strength pieces.  

Lastly, you’ll be able to identify the positive pieces that work for your relationship. These are your relationship strengths.

Resources and Links:

019 Make Your Relationship Awesome by Focusing on the Bright Spots

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