Problem-Solving – Part I: The Why & How

 

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.

Why?

  1. 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
  •         Resilience
  •         Efficiency
  •         Innovation
  •         Results-Orientated
  •         Trustworthiness
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

How?

While everyone may have unique twists in their problem-solving process, most problem-solvers use a general approach.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

At Hamilton Connections, we believe in solving problems. And we want to help solve yours. If you are looking for the next step in your career, we can help! Call us today, and let’s get started.