Our choices say a lot about us. Let’s see how you would respond in this following situation.

The Scenario:

You’re driving your car down the street in a rainstorm. Up ahead is a bus stop and you can see three unfortunate people getting drenched. As you get closer, you notice one of them is your best friend, one is an elderly lady who looks ill, and the third is the guy or girl of your dreams. You want to help out and give everyone a ride, but you only have one empty seat in your two-seater sports car.

So the question is, who do you offer a ride to?

Have your answer? Then scroll down below the image to find out what this simple riddle says about you.

1. You pick up your best friend.

The Bestie. Your friendship has proven true. It’s too bad the old lady died the next day from catching a cold, and let’s hope that the guy/girl of your dreams didn’t see your face or they’re definitely swiping left.

2. You pick up the old lady.

The Good Samaritan. You have saved the old lady’s life but your friend is no longer willing to help you move this weekend, and the dream guy/girl, well maybe you didn’t have a chance with them anyway.

3. You pick up the guy or girl of your dreams.

Desperately Single. Hey, this could turn into marriage, but your friend is so mad they don’t want to be in the wedding party, and the old lady? Yeah, she died. I hope you and your new partner go the distance to make up for all the guilt you feel each day as you drive by the bus stop on your way to work.

This is the definition of a problem; a situation where you have choices but none of them are really great.

But what if there was another choice?

4. You pull the car over, give your friend the keys, and ask him to give the old lady a ride while you wait in the rain beside your dream guy/girl.

The Out-of-the-box Thinker. You are an epic human being and probably on your way to getting a promotion or perhaps winning the Nobel Prize. Nicely done.

While this is a silly little riddle, it highlights the challenge when we’re trying to solve a problem.

Problems require us to make choices, and it’s often between multiple options, none of which are ideal,  which is why it’s a problem in the first place.

But a key skill in problem-solving is the ability to think flexibly. This enables us to find alternative options that maybe we initially didn’t consider.

But how can we think more flexibly when we’re in the middle of solving a problem? One of the easiest ways is by asking ourselves one simple question:

What other choice do we have that we cannot currently see?

This question shifts our attention from the current choices and enables us to be more open minded which helps us tap into our creativity.

This pause, allows are brain to work.

When you first read the riddle, it looks like they’re only three choices. But stepping back and considering there might be a 4th choice, gives us the opportunity to potentially discover a solution that wasn’t obvious at first but now makes the most sense.

Application:

The next time you or your team are facing a problem, ask the simple question: What other choice do we have that we cannot currently see?

 

P.S. There are most likely other solutions to this problem and if you want to offer up any then leave it in the comment section below.