Rich Descriptions

This section on Rich Descriptions is a creative skill for helping you to make progress with problems.

The core idea is that when you need to find a way forward on an issue, you should describe it as richly as possible. So instead of “work is too difficult” you could try “The time I spend at work is stressful with difficult interactions with Richard the unpleasant compounded by the difficulties of arriving on time after dropping the kids off at Bright Sparks nursery, aggravated by Richard’s habit of setting team meetings up so I am embarrassed if I am late”.

You can then pick out the issues in this:

  • Richard is unpleasant
  • It is stressful to work with Richard
  • Richard seems to set out to embarrass me
  • Childcare starts too late to be convenient for me
  • Travel from Childcare to work has no allowance for traffic problems

This makes it easier to see the possibilities:

  • See if you can transfer elsewhere in your company
  • Talk to your colleagues to see if they feel the same and can comfort you
  • See if you can talk to Richard about the impact he has on you
  • See if you can get Richard to have meetings later
  • See if you can resolve Richards difficulties with you occasionally being slightly late
  • Can you change childcare to start slightly earlier?
  • Could you use a different nursery, perhaps one closer to work?

Every adjective (describing word) you use represents something that could be changed- the more adjectives you use, the more choices you have.


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