Persistence is a key to learning and having fun with math.  Research shows that most Americans when presented with a puzzle or problem that’s even moderately difficult will give up trying to solve it within a minute or less.  Being persistent is essential to developing good solutions and ideas or even brainstorming effectiveness.

I blame technology.  Since the introduction of GUI (graphic user interface) on computers it wasn’t just the geeks who inherited the world.  Everyone who can point and click (or slide a finger) can open a world of possibilities.  We’ve gotten used to being able to access information quickly, almost effortlessly.  When things don’t go smoothly we stomp and shout and quickly get frustrated.

However, persistence pays off. If you look at a problem not as an obstacle but as an interesting situation you can begin to uncover not only new solutions but get back in touch with what your strengths are and the competence you have at being adept and smart.  Interpersonal interactions are no different.  People rarely stay up late at night thinking of ways to irritate their boss.  Typically if you are working with an associate who doesn’t ‘get you’ it may mean you need to work a bit harder to figure out what they need.  We teach skills for that but at the core it’s being willing to slow down, think, and most importantly not give up!

Share your thoughts about problem solving here or tweet us @mohrretail.  Thanks for reading.


About Michael Patrick

Michael held positions in retail management, merchandising, and human resources before joining MOHR Retail’s predecessor in 1986. In 1990 he purchased the retail division of that firm to form today’s MOHR Retail. Michael holds true to his retail roots by delivering learning that changes behavior—providing both immediate and lasting business impact. In addition to facilitating MOHR Retail training programs, he offers executive-level coaching in one-on-one sessions dealing with critical strategic issues such as succession strategies and executive team development. The author of “The New Negotiation Mindset: Guarantee A Bigger Slice,” Michael is a longstanding member of NRF as well as ISA: The Association of Learning Providers. He has a B.A. from San Diego State University, completed Master’s level work at Arizona State University, and lives with his family in New Jersey.