Find it almost impossible to think through and solve problems collaboratively in realtime

My brain just ceases to function, particularly if another person is verbally going through it themselves in a way where they kind of expect me to follow their train of thought.

I have to take it away and work on it independently. This often proves difficult at work when others in my team are the opposite.
I think it might be a social anxiety thing, my brain power is taken up by that, leaving nothing left for problem solving.

Thanks for reading.


I totally get this. On the spot thinking when it comes to stuff like that is just nah


I don’t think that’s a bad thing tbh man

I find that the folks I work with who make decisions within minutes of something new being revealed/asked about are 95% of the time people wrongly over-relying on instinct

There’s a very specific type of person who can think very quickly and get it right most of the time, but they’re very rare. The owner of the bookshop is one but even he needs people like me to politely cough an hour later and say ‘I’ve run the numbers, we need to rethink’ in the event of the odd fuckup

1 Like

My brain working collaboratively:

My brain working independently:


I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed working as part of a team. Maybe that’s partly ego, and partly my brain needing very precise conditions to be able to think clearly. Give me a problem to solve and my own space and I can work backwards or forwards quite methodically, but stick me in a group environment and I’m like a fish trying to ride a bicycle.

1 Like

Most people tend to have solutionised by the time they present a problem and you’re either with them or you’re not. It’s not a good thing at all and closes the door on a lot of often better solutions that never get properly explored because someone is already half way to one that they’ve not properly thought out. They’re the problem, not you.

You can however look really clever by asking them to pause for a minute, step back and focus on defining what you’re actually trying to achieve and work through things in a strucctured way more akin to how you might using Lean/Six Sigma type thinking.

There’s some stuff here too.


completely legit way to be and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise


I find a prob… issue with group problem solving is that most people have not great meta-cognition and don’t understand how they themselves think, and/or are not the least bit aware of their biases. I try to make a point of saying “I think x, but then I’m biased towards that solution because y”.

Obvs one of the things about biases is that you’re never going to be aware of all of them or be able to correct for them, but I find it infuriating to work with people who don’t even attempt to take that step back and think “hmm, why do I think that and not something else?”

tl;dr fuck 'em


I have this massively. In addition to this, my core assumption in life is that I’m wrong and everybody else is right, and that combined with a pathological desire to please people (I think stemming from an extreme fear of conflict) means I get utterly steamrolled in such situations. It’s the same with real-time conversations and meetings. I need time to think without pressure or expectation or external influence, and I don’t see why that’s such a strange or bad thing :frowning:


I manage someone who by default assumes they’re wrong, even though they have such good instincts and are hugely valuable on the team.

It often means I have be a bit sly in prodding an opinion/answer out of him and the going slightly more celebratory about it when they’re right than I would do with others, but it’s very slowly changing that mindset.

I think tbh the way the likes of you, barleysugar and others work and think is as valuable as anyone else, it’s up to managers to understand and use that best - if they don’t, why the fuck are they managers and what worth do they bring?

1 Like

Empathise hugely with this. Luckily I have found myself in a role which generally speaking allows me time to gather information/data, do some analysis and come back with some conclusions rather than being expected to make decisions on the spot. Trouble is this then exposes my other big weakness which is procrastination!

1 Like

…and thats ok

Too often the knowledge of self to be able to articulate a thing like this is followed up with a pressure to address it as a “growth area”. Knowing the thing about yourself in the first place is, in and of itself, growth.

I’m definitely this way too. Whether it’s zoom or in person, I like to gather information and input, then take it back to my corner for processing. Some of that is social anxiety and over-stimulation for sure.

Agree with the procrastination bit too. But I’ve learned that to some degree, it’s part of my creative process. The issue I’m trying to solve is always in the back of my mind even if I’m doing other stuff (like DiS). This also contributes to my anxiety as opposed to just being able to knock something out, or at least stay focused for longer periods of time and then truly step away.

But that’s just how some of us are and that’s one way of being.

1 Like

Yep I can’t do quick problem solving in groups at all either. Lots of good points made in this thread. I found that accepting that I need time to gather then process really helped, and letting other folk know this… Found actually then I usually came up with better solutions than many, given a little time/space. Maybe mention to a few folk how you work best, we’re not all best at problem solving in teams that’s for sure.