Looking, looking, looking…

By Chris Irons

Spending all their days sourcing strata information from as many places and people as possible but never acting on it, The Searcher ostensibly is trying to get better informed yet never seems to actually do anything. Often, The Searcher seems to be more interested in seeking out others in the same situation as them, rather than acting upon a tangible situation.

Catch cry: ‘’Has anyone ever encountered [insert generic strata situation here]?’

Red Flags: you might have a Searcher if someone:

  • Is a frequent poster on strata blogs and Facebook pages, especially when asking questions that have been asked or posted about several times previously; or
  • Suggests banding together, possibly to form some kind of action group, or to investigate a class action or even a Royal Commission.

The Good: searching for knowledge is always a good thing, right? So kudos to The Searcher for at least making the effort. Strata is complex, technical and challenging, and frequently subject to changes. It stands to reason that people involved in strata should constantly be looking for information to help their situation.

The Bad: it’s one thing to search. It’s another to search, find and act and The Searcher can spend a strata lifetime looking for something – that elusive answer, a smoking gun – without ever getting to the solution. We understand that: strata can often lack black and white certainty. For The Searcher, that may mean keeping on looking until that is found. Which may be never.

Making the Searcher Work For the Scheme: the cynic in us realises The Searcher might be great for a scheme – after all, there’s not a lot of need to take action or make decisions when the searching continues. That said, if The Searcher can get involved in things, it might reduce their need to keep looking. The Searcher might be encouraged to act in an informal role for the committee, rather than an actual committee position, with that feeling of engagement making their searching feel worthwhile.

What To Do When It Becomes a Problem? The Searcher keeps searching because they feel something is missing, or being withheld from their grasp. Give The Searcher something tangible, but don’t keep feeding the need – that’s what they’re wanting, after all. A concise, simple answer or statement, provided just the once, can set good boundaries for The Searcher.

Fun Fact: Searchers need not be individuals only. A committee can absolutely be a Searcher, always seeking advice, input and further information, afraid to make a decision.

Think You May Be A Searcher?: Don’t panic – you’re on the right track, you just need to take a deep breath accept there might be limits to what you can discover. There are few, if any, absolutes, in strata. Rather than rail against that, get a process and stick to it. Methodically pick your way through issues and situations, using the information you have found and avoiding hyperbole and aggravation. There will be mis-steps, and losses along the way. There will also be victories. Celebrate those and keep on learning at the same time.

Can Strata Solve Help? Strata Solve likes to speak directly and honestly with people. That kind of straight-talking works well with The Searcher. That said, straight-talking can also be inflammatory and there are good and bad ways of doing it. Ask us how.

Photo: (CC BY 4.0) Wellcome Images, Science Museum A642813, Photo L0058700

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