The 2Xtremes analysis
If you need further focus on a problem, push the situation to the black or white extreme by asking pertinent questions from these two points of view.
This will identify which side holds the solution or need attention and work.
(Sorry for the poor quality, I will re-do the graphic and upload it as soon as possible)
For example you might say: "I won't get that report done on time, so what's the worst scenario that could happen?"
If it's not that important, you'll be able to make a decision and move on accordingly. If it is important, then you move on to "what's the solution?". Section 7 contains a guideline on solution-finding and problem-solving.
And here is an example of looking at a problem from the 2Xtremes analysis. Have you ever come out of a store or coffee shop and someone else attempts to enter at the same time?
Who has the right of way? Looking at it from the extreme, if the store was full and could not accommodate another person, those entering would have to let people out first and then they could get in. So, based on that, it is a pretty good rule to say that those entering a building should give way to those exiting.
Another way to look at extremes is to look at important people and ask, "What would Einstein do in this situation?" or the Prime minister... "What would Ann Landers say?" Or my father, or mother, or boss, or husband, wife, an admired peer at work, or an expert in the subject at hand -- or you may ask "What would God say?". Then, you can use that extreme to come up with a decision or solution.
Use these tools in preparation for communicating with others. If you find yourself in a communication problem, go "back to the drawing board" and re-do your homework. Try looking at your problem again with these tools and subsequent new information.