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Effective Problem Solving
through Councils
A Pattern Taken from the book
Counseling with Our Councils
by M. Russell Ballar...
2
When I read this book, I
noticed a pattern emerging
from the many stories
This pattern stems from my
interpretation and ...
3
Problem Solving Pattern
Define
Problem
• Awareness
• Escalation
• Assignment
• Discussion
• Definition
Implement
Solutio...
4
Symptoms of a problem
are revealed
Through data, analysis, a
feeling, or other means
Problem Awareness
Define
Problem
Im...
5
An event occurs that drives
the need to address the
problem
Mandate from your
boss/leader, customer
complaint, etc.
The ...
6
Council leader takes
ownership of problem
or delegates ownership
to someone else
Investigation of the
problem
Problem As...
7
Open and honest
conversation about the
problem
Questions are asked
Ideas are shared
Data is examined
Problem Discussion
...
8
The council searches out
the root cause
The root problem is
clearly defined and
articulated
Root Problem Definition
Defi...
9
Brainstorm potential
solutions that are
specific and measurable
Discuss and evaluate
options
Focus on the desired
result...
10
Assigned owner
determines best solution
Communicates solution
to the council leader
Gets buy in from other
stake holder...
11
Do it
Council leader assigns
appropriate individuals
to implement the
solution
Empowerment and
resources provided
Solut...
12
Collect data (qualitative
and quantitative)
Return and report
Make sure the solution is
solving the problem
If not, rin...
13
Councils do not inherently function this way
It may come naturally for a few people, but not for most
Training and conc...
14
Any Questions?
Thank You!
15
Appendix: Examples and Quotes
from Counseling with Our Councils
16
Problem Awareness An EQP said: “We didn't schedule the [home teaching] interviews as often as we should
have, and when ...
17
Problem Awareness "A large family in our ward experienced a crisis when the father lost his job." p. 15
Problem Escalat...
18
Problem Awareness The bishop "decided to drop in on Mutual opening exercises just to see how things were
going. What he...
19
Problem Awareness "A bishop I know was concerned about an escalating lack of reverence in his
ward." p. 107
Problem Esc...
20
Problem Awareness "One stake presidency was faced with a dilemma: of the 60 or so young single adults who
lived within ...
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Effective Problem Solving through Councils

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This is a pattern taken from the book Counseling with Our Councils by Elder M. Russell Ballard

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Effective Problem Solving through Councils

  1. 1. Effective Problem Solving through Councils A Pattern Taken from the book Counseling with Our Councils by M. Russell Ballard Presented by Jimmy Smith, owner of MormonMissionPrep.com October 10, 2013
  2. 2. 2 When I read this book, I noticed a pattern emerging from the many stories This pattern stems from my interpretation and analysis of Elder Ballard’s examples Counseling with Our Councils
  3. 3. 3 Problem Solving Pattern Define Problem • Awareness • Escalation • Assignment • Discussion • Definition Implement Solution • Alternatives • Determination • Implement Analyze Results • Rinse and repeat, if necessary
  4. 4. 4 Symptoms of a problem are revealed Through data, analysis, a feeling, or other means Problem Awareness Define Problem Implement Solution Analyze Results All Lego people images courtesy of Flickr user ntr23
  5. 5. 5 An event occurs that drives the need to address the problem Mandate from your boss/leader, customer complaint, etc. The problem is escalated to a council Consists of a council leader and council members Problem Escalation Define Problem Implement Solution Analyze Results
  6. 6. 6 Council leader takes ownership of problem or delegates ownership to someone else Investigation of the problem Problem Assignment Define Problem Implement Solution Analyze Results
  7. 7. 7 Open and honest conversation about the problem Questions are asked Ideas are shared Data is examined Problem Discussion Define Problem Implement Solution Analyze Results
  8. 8. 8 The council searches out the root cause The root problem is clearly defined and articulated Root Problem Definition Define Problem Implement Solution Analyze Results
  9. 9. 9 Brainstorm potential solutions that are specific and measurable Discuss and evaluate options Focus on the desired results Solution Alternatives Define Problem Implement Solution Analyze Results
  10. 10. 10 Assigned owner determines best solution Communicates solution to the council leader Gets buy in from other stake holders, as needed Council leader decides on the solution to pursue Solution Determination Define Problem Implement Solution Analyze Results
  11. 11. 11 Do it Council leader assigns appropriate individuals to implement the solution Empowerment and resources provided Solution Implementation Define Problem Implement Solution Analyze Results
  12. 12. 12 Collect data (qualitative and quantitative) Return and report Make sure the solution is solving the problem If not, rinse and repeat Results Analyzed Define Problem Implement Solution Analyze Results
  13. 13. 13 Councils do not inherently function this way It may come naturally for a few people, but not for most Training and concerted effort is required This pattern will lead to significantly improved results I have found this true where I have applied it in my work Plus we have the testimony of an apostle  Concluding Thoughts
  14. 14. 14 Any Questions? Thank You!
  15. 15. 15 Appendix: Examples and Quotes from Counseling with Our Councils
  16. 16. 16 Problem Awareness An EQP said: “We didn't schedule the [home teaching] interviews as often as we should have, and when we did try to hold them, most of the home teachers weren't very excited about coming." p. 128 Problem Escalation "In one of my quarterly interviews with the stake president, I mentioned the problem we were having." p. 129 Problem Assignment He "said a priesthood leader's duty is to 'sit in council' with his quorum members" and made some suggestions for the EQ presidency. p. 129 Problem Discussion "In our next quorum presidency meeting, I talked with my counselors about my discussion with the stake president." p. 129 Problem Definition “The real agenda of the home teaching interview is to agree on the 'next step' to help each quorum member come unto Christ." p. 129 Solution Alternatives "When we prayed about our decisions at the end of the meeting, we all felt good about them." p. 129 Solution Determined "We agreed to hold more regular interviews and to try a different approach." p. 129 Solution Implementation "That Sunday, instead of just handing out the new assignments like we usually did, we interviewed every home teacher who had a new assignment and explained what we were trying to accomplish." p. 129 Results Analyzed "Since then, I haven't had any trouble getting Gary to come to home teaching interviews. In fact, he's one of the most faithful home teachers in our quorum." p. 131 Example from Counseling with Our Councils: Home Teaching
  17. 17. 17 Problem Awareness "A large family in our ward experienced a crisis when the father lost his job." p. 15 Problem Escalation "They were reluctant to respond to my offer of temporary assistance." p. 15 "I discovered that they were heavily in debt and were behind on their mortgage." p. 16 Problem Assignment "I took the matter to my ward welfare committee and to the ward council." p. 15 Problem Discussion "Our RS president volunteered to visit with the mother of the family to ascertain their temporal needs." p. 16 "The EQ president counseled with the father…and worked with him on ways to improve his employment situation." p. 16 Problem Definition "Following approved welfare guidelines, I inquired about the ability of their extended family to help through this challenging period in their lives." p. 16 Solution Alternatives "Our RS president … was able to learn that the mother had a brother who was very wealthy." p. 16 Solution Determined "I counseled with her and eventually received her permission to contact her brother, who lived in a distant city." p. 16 Solution Implementation "Within three days he arrived in Salt Lake City and helped get his sister's financial affairs in order." p. 16 "Meanwhile, our EQ president was helping her husband to find a steady job." p. 17 Results Analyzed "The family was more secure than they had ever been." p. 17 Example: Family Finances
  18. 18. 18 Problem Awareness The bishop "decided to drop in on Mutual opening exercises just to see how things were going. What he saw frustrated and troubled him." p. 161 Problem Escalation The bishop "couldn't get out of his mind the image of those teenagers behaving so disrespectfully in the chapel." p. 161 Problem Assignment The bishopric "decided it would be a good subject to bring before the ward council." p. 162 Problem Discussion "The bishop outlined his concerns before the ward council. … 'I honestly don't have any answers here…I'm really interested in hearing what you folks have to say.'" p. 162 Problem Definition "At the heart of the problem is our love and respect for Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." p. 163 "Behaving disrespectfully in the chapel is just an outward manifestation of a much deeper problem that appears to exist throughout the ward. The greater issue here is personal testimony." p. 163 Solution Alternatives "If we can strengthen the testimonies of ward members, they will naturally be more reverent." p. 163 "We need to do a better job of teaching testimony and behavior." p. 164 Solution Determined "I feel especially good about buillding our program on temple worthiness and worship. I believe that that is precisely the focus the Lord would have us maintain…Now, let's take a few minutes to develop some specific plans and suggestions." p. 167 Solution Implementation "Anything we're going to do sort of begins and ends with this group of people here…if we do things that are counter to creating a respectful, reverent environment in our meetinghouse, it won't matter what else we say or do." p. 166 Results Analyzed "The thing that I want to have happen…is for people to be able to walk into the chapel at any time and feel calm and peaceful and worshipful." p. 165 Example: Youth and Respect
  19. 19. 19 Problem Awareness "A bishop I know was concerned about an escalating lack of reverence in his ward." p. 107 Problem Escalation "A general conference speaker suggested that reverence might be an appropriate topic for a ward council." p. 107 Problem Assignment "On his next ward council meeting agenda, 'Reverence' was prominently listed for discussion." p. 107 Problem Discussion The bishop read in the Handbook about his role in ward reverence and "that the ward council is to 'review progress' and to counsel together regarding 'all ward programs and activities.'" p. 107 Problem Definition Solution Alternatives "'I quickly discovered that other members of the council shared my concern, and they had some excellent suggestions for improvement,' the bishop said." p. 107 Solution Determined Solution Implementation "Following the inspried counsel of Church leaders and implementing handbook procedures has made a difference in our ward." p. 108 Results Analyzed "'I am delighted to report that our reverence has greatly improved,' the bishop said." p.108 Example: Sunday Reverence
  20. 20. 20 Problem Awareness "One stake presidency was faced with a dilemma: of the 60 or so young single adults who lived within the stake boundaries, only about 40 wanted to attend the stake's YSA branch." p. 88 Problem Escalation "'We weren't exactly sure where they were attending, that was the problem. We wanted to make sure no one was falling through the cracks, and we wanted to provide a meaningful program.'" p. 88 Problem Assignment "Under the direction of the stake council, a special task committee was formed, composed of the stake RS, YW, and YM presidents; four high councilors (over those organizations)." p. 89 Problem Discussion "The group also discussed current branch membership, potential branch membership, and the names of the young people who would be eligible to join the branch during the next four years." p. 89 Problem Definition "During the first meeting, the problem was outlined." p. 89 Solution Alternatives "The information compiled by the task committee was presented to the stake council, where more candid and open dialogue led to the formation of a plan." p. 90 Solution Determined "The proposed plan was then presented to the stake bishops' council for their sustaining vote. Concerns and reservations were voiced and then resolved as they counseled together." p. 90 “All who struggled with the challenges involved received his or her own testimony that in our stake this is what the Lord would have us do." p . 90 Solution ImplementationThey "began to implement the approved program." p. 90 Results Analyzed "'We had to change some of our own long-entrenched ways of doing things, and that was painful to a degree,' the stake president said." p. 90 Example: YSA Branch

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