Updated: Apr 10, 2022
Being an engineer, I’ve witnessed the many positive benefits of thinking small and specific.
But you might read this and think, “Hah! It’s just like an engineer to think small.” If so, you missed my point.
If the battery dies in your $60,000 car, all the remaining parts are useless. You will have a gorgeous vehicle that can’t move. If you call me to help you, I won’t ask how you like the car or whether the seats are comfortable or why you got a silver car instead of a red or blue one.
Instead, I’ll ask what’s wrong, and we’ll quickly get to your dead battery and why it died.
In business and life, people often think big and vague. “How can we make the world a better place?” is a good example. In my book, it would be better to ask, “What could we do to make this town green more inviting?” That second question might get us to plant more trees and flowers, build more social seating areas, and perhaps schedule weekly concerts.
In other words, small and specific lets you make actual progress!
Over the years, I’ve learned to not just encourage others to think small and specific, but also to be curious. For example, the more curious you are regarding ways to make the town green more inviting, the more likely you are to discover wonderful solutions. In addition, you’ll have an easier time working with people who think differently than you do; you’ll be curious why they have a different approach, and thus open to learning.