(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)
Most people seem to enjoy fixing things. Something is broken, fix it. Something is out of whack, fix it. It can be very satisfying to fix stuff. So satisfying that some people look for things which need fixing because they get their “fix” from fixing! For them, their ability to fix things is part of their self-identity. Without a problem to fix, they can feel somewhat adrift.
A fix can be (and frequently is) temporary because you’re usually fixing a symptom of a deeper problem.
A resolution is generally permanent because you’re getting to the source of the real issue.
For instance, sales are down, so you can fix that by making more calls. Or resolve the problem of reduced sales by studying and discovering that a fundamental shift has occurred in your market and you will benefit by repositioning your offering to be in alignment with the new market realities.
Another example of resolve versus fix is with emotional stuff. You can learn to live with a negative emotion — fix how you react to it — or resolve the underlying issue and never have it recur again.
Fixing can be like playing the whack-a-mole game at the pizza parlor — no way to permanently win and no end in sight. Resolving is much more satisfying and provides you freedom.
Coaching Point: What’s one thing you would you like to resolve?
Copyright 2008 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.