What is Problem-Solving?
Problem-solving involves diagnosing the possible causes of a problem and developing an action plan that solves that problem. People use problem- solving skills all the time, both in their personal and professional lives. Effective problem-solving in the workplace often requires following a step- by-step process and using a designated problem-solving framework.
What is it about?
Problem solving is at the core of human evolution. It is the methods we use to understand what is happening in our environment, identify things we want to change and then figure out the things that need to be done to create the desired outcome. Problem solving is the source of all new inventions, social and cultural evolution, and the basis for market-based economies. It is the basis for continuous improvement, communication and learning.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution.
– Albert Einstein
Why is it important?
Problem-solving is important both to individuals and organizations because it enables us to exert control over our environment:
1. Fixing things that are broken
Personal and business environments are full of things, activities, interactions and processes that are broken or not operating in the way they are desired to work. Problem-solving gives us a mechanism for identifying these things, figuring out why they are broken and determining a course of action to fix them.
2. Addressing risk
Problem-solving can be applied to the anticipated future events and used to enable action in the present to influence the likelihood of the event occurring and/or alter the impact if the event does occur.
3. Improving performance
Problem-solving helps us understand relationships and implement the changes and improvements needed to compete and survive in a continually changing environment.
Problem solving is also about innovating, creating new things and changing the environment to be more desirable. Problem-solving enables us to identify and exploit opportunities in the environment and exert (some level of) control over the future.
Which are the benefits of being
Your ability to solve problems effectively comes from experience facing and overcoming obstacles. Each time you solve a problem you get a little better leader:
You learn to anticipate problems
Effective team leaders anticipate problems,
knowing that problems are inevitable. Although it is important always to keep a positive attitude, planning for the worst will place you in a position to solve the problems that you encounter.
You learn to accept the truth
There are different ways that people respond to problems. Some refuse to accept the problem, others accept the problem and just put up with it. Effective leaders are those that accept the problem and try to make things better. To be an effective leader you have to face up to the
reality of a situation.
You see the Big Picture
It is essential that team leaders must always
keep the big picture in mind. As a team leader, you cannot afford to be overwhelmed by emotion nor get so bogged down by details that you lose sight of what is important.
You handle One Thing at a Time
Tackle your problems, one problem at a time. Do not get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of your problems and then try and dabble at problem-solving. If you are facing a lot of problems, fully solve the one you are working on before moving to the next.
You do not give up a major goal when you are down
Effective leaders make major decisions during a positive swing in their leadership and not during dark times. Never give up while you are going through the valley.