Problem-solving is a necessary skill that transcends every industry. After all, problems, be they big or small, show up every day –in every workplace. As a leader in your company, it is vital to model and encourage problem-solving in your team.
- It Strengthens Your Team: Strong teams are brimming with initiative-filled problem-solvers –positive influencers who “rally the troops,” bringing together a team in a united effort to determine the most efficient and advantageous way to get things done for the company’s good and the customer. In addition, problem-solvers ten to bring other traits to the table, such as –
- Lateral thinking
- Logical thinking
- It’s Essential for Management: Part of being in leadership means you get hit more often with problems for the solving. Therefore, knowing how to be an effective problem-solver is critical to leading effectively and mastering your management role.
- It’s Essential for Life: If you are like us, you probably find that problems arise in day-t0-day life and that these problems also need “fixing.” Thus, the ability to problem-solve is an invaluable one at home, too.
- Makes the Impossible, Possible: Problem solvers take what looks impossible (or at the least, incredibly difficult) and make it happen. This kind of mindset in a business leader inspires their team to do the same.
While everyone may have unique twists in their problem-solving process, most problem-solvers use a general approach.
- Identify the Problem: Problem-solvers need a crystal-clear understanding of what needs fixing. So be on the lookout for the root of the problem.
- Find the Factors: It’s also essential to understand what factors contributed to the problem. Look at and isolate different circumstances and similar problems/resolutions. This process takes some research and data analysis, but it helps create an effective solution.
- Brainstorm Solutions: Brainstorming is the next step. This is the fun part! If you are working on a team — or even if you are not — include others in the brainstorm session. Problems are rarely solved with the first idea. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
- Evaluate the Potential Results: With a couple of ideas in your pocket, explore the different ramifications — both vaguely possible and very realistic. It helps you choose the best plan and prepares you for any potential snags along the way.
- Implement the Plan: It’s time to set your plan into motion. Be diligent but flexible. Don’t rush it — set benchmarks that help you know if your solution is working.
- Watch and Wait: Waiting requires patience, but sometimes it just takes time to know if your problem-solving plan will pan out the way you thought. Be willing to admit if you were wrong and ready to pivot with a new idea.
If problem-solving doesn’t come naturally to you, check back next week to learn some tips and tools to help you sharpen your problem-solving skills!