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Chapter 7. Prepare > Step 1. Problem-Solve

Step 1. Problem-Solve

Applying the Guiding Principles, Nine Strategic Approaches, and Four-Phase Process makes good sense. However, compelling logic in the heat of an argument is easy to forget. Consider the following scenario.

Case Study: Getting Started

GEORGE Husband
George and Martha, after five years of marriage, are having an after-dinner “discussion” in the sparsely furnished living room of their apartment. They are standing.
GEORGE: [in an angry voice] I don’t believe my ears! You waited until now, the last possible minute, to tell me you’re enrolling in college for the coming semester? Don’t you think you should have at least talked it over with me first? How come suddenly you have to be Ms. Martha Coed?
MARTHA: Don’t get so worked up. We still have a day or two before I have to send in the enrollment forms.
GEORGE: I don’t get it. You haven’t been inside a classroom in five years. Why, suddenly, is it such a top priority for you to get your degree? I’m struggling to get my business off the ground, and you know we need your salary.
MARTHA: Look George, I know how hard you are working, and you know how much I’ve wanted to go back to school. I haven’t enrolled yet. I just did some checking and learned that my old academic credits are still good— but only if I go back to school during the next two years.
GEORGE: O.K., O.K. I got it. So why start now? Hold off for two years and we’ll be able to afford it.
MARTHA: The truth is I’m totally bored at work and I can’t go on like this. I’m not going to keep my career on hold. I need to make some changes. Ever since you quit your job to become an entrepreneur, you’ve become a workaholic stick-in-the-mud. There’s no fun left in our marriage.
GEORGE: Is that a threat?
MARTHA: I’m simply telling you how I feel. Take it any way you like. For the first time in years, I feel some excitement. Just the idea of getting some intellectual stimulation in my life is a turn-on.
GEORGE: Can we get logical here? The point I’m trying to make is the longer you wait to go back to school, the easier it will be for me to pay your tuition and for us to have some fun times again. Doesn’t that make sense?
MARTHA: Yeah, it makes logical sense, but my feelings say “no.” I want to grow, be challenged and stretch. I don’t want to stick with a boring job while my life ticks away.
GEORGE: The bottom line, sweetie, is we can’t afford to have you go back to school now. I’m working twelve hours a day for our future. I need to buy new equipment just to stay in business.
MARTHA: When we agreed you would start the business, you never mentioned my not being able to go back to school! You know I’ve been counting on it. Now you’re backing out. I’ve been at the same dull job since we got married.
GEORGE: If you can just hang on for one more year…
MARTHA: How do I know anything will be better then? I want a life!



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