Learn
Learn
Close

They Ask, You Answer

A revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing, and today’s digital consumer.

Learn MoreLearn More

Free Courses in IMPACT+

Dozens of sales, marketing, and content courses inside IMPACT+. Start learning now.

See all coursesSee all courses
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Coaching & Implementation Services
Coaching & Implementation Services
Close

Services Overview

See how you can dramatically increase your inbound leads and sales.

Services Overview

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Fast track your team’s success with IMPACT's most popular service.

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Web Design

Launch a beautiful website that consistently generates leads and revenue.

Web Design

Virtual Sales Training

Equip your sales team with comprehensive training designed to help them close more deals in today's virtual-first world.

Virtual Sales Training

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Train your company to take ownership of HubSpot and get the most out of your investment.

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Case Studies

See dozens of examples of companies succeeding with Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery and They Ask, You Answer.

Case Studies
Become a Coach
Become a Coach
Close

Creative Problem-Solving and Knowing When It's Time to Ask for Help [Interview]

Creative Problem-Solving and Knowing When It's Time to Ask for Help [Interview] Blog Feature

Christine Austin

Creative Lead, 7+ Years of Web Design and Development Experience

June 29th, 2018 min read

If working in the agency world has taught me anything, its that you are going to be presented with some pretty challenging problems and you need to face them head-on.

But finding the solution to those problems isn't always the easiest, and it can feel pretty aggravating when you just can't solve them. 

In reflecting on my trials and tribulations with learning on the job and educating myself becoming a better creative thinking, I decided to sit back down with two of our developers, Tim and Kyle to talk more.  

Screen Shot 2018-06-28 at 11.45.51 PM

Together, we discussed the barriers that prevent creatives from being able to solve problems, the importance of asking people for help when you just can't figure out a solution, and when it's appropriate to do so.

Why Do People Struggle To Problem Solve? 

TO: Whenever you first problem solve, you have to be a little persistent. You can't just throw your hands up in the air and say, “Well, this isn't working. So, we can't do this.”

A lot of times there is a way your problem can be solved, but if you give up too soon then you're never going to find the solution to your problem.

Another reason people might struggle to problem solve is if they just simply don't have the knowledge or skill set.

You can do as much troubleshooting as you want but if you don't understand what it is you're reading then you're not going to ever past it.

Usually, a solution is going to end up being a bunch of different steps. You have to break it down into steps and go one by one. Sometimes, you will get say you know, eight out of 10 steps in and then realize, “Shoot, the ninth step doesn't work.” Or, you know, “I got to go backward.” Or, “I don't know how to move past this one step.”

You have to look at the whole problem and understand the components within it. If you're taking too many tiny steps then you're most likely going to get stuck.

When You Should Stop Troubleshooting

KS: This is going to sound kind of funny, but personally for me a warning sign it's time to either ask someone else for help is when I am typing the same thing into Google over and over again.

I've been to every single page on the first page of Google and I've looked at the same 10 Stack Overflow posts and nothing is helping. That is usually the moment where I concede.

The importance of being able to make that call is like paramount because if you're operating in a super tight type environment like we operate in. We really can't afford to be losing time like even on the minute level. 

TO: Yeah. There's no specific like rule or guidelines for when it's time to give up. You sort of just know. There are definitely times similar to what Kyle said. You've visited every page and still don't have your answer. But, it’s possible you’re either looking at the wrong thing or not understanding the solutions that are being given to you.

For example, you may be looking at the answers and either doesn't understand them or don't like the answers that they're giving you. If you’re always hitting the back button and try to find an easier solution, then you need to sort of step back and look at what it is you're trying to do.

Sometimes, you just need to take a step back and look at the whole picture again and trying to figure out, “Hey, can it be done?” B, “Am I on the right path? Am I even going about this whole thing the right way?” Or, “Did I pick the wrong path and you know, I could have done it a different way that wouldn't have resulted in this problem?

You need to stop and figure out if you're even going about solving the right way. You're going to waste a lot of time if you are still trying things on attempt number 10 and still failing.

You should be deciding to ask for help is when you don't know how to troubleshoot, there is no more information to gather or your finding answers that don’t relate to your issue.

It's Okay to be Stuck, but Don't make Yourself Feel Trapped

KS: I can't tell you how many times I've sat in front of a computer for far too many hours and then been forced to take a break and then be driving somewhere and all of a sudden I have it just click into my head. For somebody like me, I really despise giving up. I will work on like into the ground and it's almost painful to take these like much-needed breaks, but they're so beneficial because they really help get rid of that tunnel vision.  

TO: Yeah. I mean I definitely agree. There are so many times where I will conclude that something can't be done and then sometime later I'll just go, “Oh, wait. I'll just do it this way.” Sometimes I've concluded it is possible but it's going to be annoying and then I think, “Wait, no, no, no. I can do it this way instead.”

The more I try and focus on the problem the more likely I am to get tunnel vision. Sometimes you just need to step back and let your subconscious think about it.

Tips on Asking for Help 

TO:  If you need to ask for help, come prepared. Give as much information as you can but as concisely as possible. Don't be super in-depth, don't say every problem you've tried, just say what the initial problem is and as they give suggestions mention whether or not you’ve tried it.

Let the helper give suggestions and as they do, mention what you have and haven’t tried. For all you know, one of those things you tried may have been the right approach, but you needed to tweak something small. This dialogue gives those discussions a chance to happen.

Also, if you're going to someone for help, don't be prepared for them to do it for you. They may just point in the right direction. They may help you through a step by giving you the information you needed. 

KS: It is still your like problem to solve. You're essentially going to somebody else like a guide to help you. You still need to have ownership of making sure that your problem gets solved and that you understand that solution. If you don’t, you'll never learn and you're going to make the same problem again.

Give Recognition to Those Who Really Helped

KS: If you're going to somebody for help and they do help you solve the problem, be sure to give them recognition either at a company meeting or on a platform like Seven Geese. That type of thing goes a long way and just helps overall for like everything companies health-wise.

 TO: Of course. If you do decide to give recognition, just make sure that what that person did is worth bringing up to your boss or your company. The more unique a problem they solved, the more it makes sense to praise them. It also just looks silly if you’re recognizing someone for something small they did for you.

Bring attention to the right moments, not every moment.

 
Want to learn more about digital sales and marketing?

Master digital sales and marketing when you join IMPACT+ for FREE. Gain instant access to exclusive courses and keynotes taught by Marcus Sheridan, Brian Halligan, Liz Moorehead, Ann Handley, David Cancel, Carina Duffy, Zach Basner, and more.

Sign up for free
Take a peek

Access hundreds of FREE courses and keynotes

Free Course
Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Buyers
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
A New Way to Compete & Win
By: Brian Halligan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
How To Genuinely Feel Confident, Be Likable, And Build Trust On Camera
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Future of Marketing is Conversational​
By: David Cancel
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
HubSpot On a Budget: Getting Started with HubSpot Starter Hubs
By: Courtney Caldwell
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Assignment Selling: Content is Your Greatest Sales Tool
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Big, Bold, Brave New World of Marketing​
By: Ann Handley
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results
By: Chris Duprey
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
How To Show Your Content Makes Money With HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
The Visual Sale
By: Marcus Sheridan & Tyler Lessard
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Marketing Tech: What’s Now, What’s Near and What’s Not Anytime Soon?​
By: Dharmesh Shah
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Inbound Lead Generation & Conversion Optimization
By: Carina Duffy
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
Fundamentals of Videography: You Can Be a Great Videographer Too
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
The Ultimate Customer Service Toolkit for Any Budget
By: Andriti Gulati
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
6 Topics Subject Matter Experts Need to Address
By: Kevin Phillips
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Fanocracy: The Power of Making Business Personal​
By: David Meerman Scott
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Power of Pillar Content
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
SEO for the Future
By: Franco Valentino
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
By: Stephanie Baiocchi
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
A Practical Guide To Video Graphics
By: Colton Trcic
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Session
How To Get Your Community To Know, Like, And Trust You With Video
By: Marki Lemons Rhyal
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Video Sales and Marketing Strategy
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Here Are Some Related Articles You May Find Interesting

Want to Contribute Content to impactplus.com? Click Here.

IMPACT+ Sign Up
A FREE online learning community with on-demand courses, hundreds of expert-led sessions, thousands of your peers ready to support you, and much more.
Check it out
Hundreds of courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE
Check it out
Access hundreds of digital sales and marketing courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE