by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE, CAPP

I’m willing to bet you have experienced this.

You’re talking through a problem with your husband, partner, wife, parent, colleague or friend. And they jump in to solve your problem. Or what they think is your problem.

This is troublesome for a few reasons.

  1. The problem they are avidly, and sometimes rabidly, solving isn’t really the problem. You had only gotten to the prelude before they leaped in to solve it.
  2. You weren’t asking for a solution. You simply needed to vent to a confidante. And now they expect you to take action on something you only wanted to process aloud.
  3. If they do it often enough, you’ll begin feeling powerless, believing you can’t solve problems on your own.

In one of my recent positive psychology coaching classes, we were discussing the inappropriateness of a coach moving in to help solve problems too fast. And yes, this issue was coined premature esolvulation.

Ornery? Maybe.  

Memorable? For sure.

What are the results of a premature esolvulation?

  1. A dissatisfied recipient.
  2. The wrong solution (or the right solution for a different problem) because they hadn’t waited long enough to get to the real issue
  3. A disempowered recipient.

While typically the premature esolvulature is trying to help, premature esolvulation can damage the relationship between the premature esolvulature and the recipient, as well as the recipient’s feelings of autonomy and competence.

Premature esolvulation doesn’t just occur when you discuss your problem with someone close to you. I see this played out every day I work with clients preparing to pass their high stakes exams and professors working to improve their teaching. You can see it at your physician’s office and in the hospital. And more often than not, you see it when children ask their parents to help them solve a problem.

Premature esolvulation takes on these characteristics in these types of situations:

  • Failing to read to the end of the test question.
  • Skipping words in test questions because you are in a hurry or don’t know the definition of the word.
  • Failing to read all of the potential answers before answering the test item.
  • Jumping in to answer the very question you posed to a class, audience, patient, or family member without first offering seven seconds of silence.
  • Giving an answer rather than asking questions that foster the recipient’s autonomy and competence.
  • Skipping steps of the nursing process (or scientific method) to rush to an answer.
  • Shoulding on the recipient before first getting to the real issue.

If you don’t know the real problem that you’re trying to solve - your solution will be wrong. But only every time.


How about trying this instead?

The next time you want to jump in to solve someone’s problem, first ask the recipient to voice their need. Do they need to vent? Are they looking for you to help them solve the problem?

Then ask yourself,

“Have I…

  • first sought to understand the real problem?”
  • skipped any words or meanings of words to jump to the conclusion?”
  • listened or read without judgment?”
  • given time to pause and reflect?”

And if you are the recipient of premature esolvulation … speak up.

Stop the person who is trying to solve your problem prematurely and tell him what you need.

Caring about you,

Have You Experienced Premature Esolvulation







NCLEX Mindset Mastery Success Story:

“When I took the next and final step of my journey to become a nurse and finally picked a date to take the NCLEX I was more stressed, worried, and excited than I had ever been during my journey to become an RN.

In nursing school, I learned very early that when I felt this way, the best thing I could do was turn to Dr. B. She was always there to assist me and provide me the proper tools and resources to center my emotions and enter the next task as stress-free and as mentally prepared as possible. The NCLEX was no different.

Dr. B’s resources were so incredibly helpful I truly believe I would not have passed if I did not use them.

These resources helped calm my nerves and get all of my thoughts into one centered place so that I could walk through those doors to take the exam with a positive outlook and little to no weight on my shoulders. Dr. B’s resources taught me how to acknowledge what I have done and what I haven’t to help myself pass, and to be okay with that. Her tools helped me verbally say and even write down all of the negative thoughts that were going through my head so I could get them all out to allow positive thoughts in.

Her tools truly helped me clear all of the extra, heavy weighing thoughts out of my mind so it was fresh, clear, and ready to think about what the NCLEX was questioning me on and only that. Had my mind been focused on everything that was holding me back, it would not have been focused on the task at hand. Dr. B helped me instill confidence in myself and when I didn’t have it, she did. Her support along this journey has truly been unmatched.

And I truly believe without her coaching and tools, I wouldn’t have succeeded the way that I did. I will forever be greatly to Dr. B and all she has provided me.”
~ Miranda Goetz

Have You Experienced Premature Esolvulation