Life is full of problems and sometimes it feels like solving one problem creates a new one. So, if we cannot avoid problems, it is always better to deal with them than ignoring them. Sometimes problems can be solved but sometimes they remain unsolved. Regardless, the real value of dealing with problems is experience and personal growth. We’ve all heard the adage that “whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”.
A workplace is a part of life and it has problems, e.g., a project delay, project over budget, decreased sales, errors in design or manufacturing, material shortage, resource capacity constraints, quality problems, shipment problems, stock market crisis, downsizing, etc. There are an endless number of tough and tiresome problems which can happen in any workplace. The most important leadership skill is dealing with workplace problems, facing them head-on, instead of ignoring them, and by always looking for new ways to deal with the problems and never giving up.
So how to deal with problems? Although there are several standard practical and proven methods for problem solving, but there are few things leaders should do to ensure the success of any problem-solving method.
- Taking responsibility for the problem is the first thing to do instead of blaming, complaining or making excuses.
- Begin solving the problems by using lessons from solving past problems and staying vigilant of other possibilities than just what happened in the past problems.
- Ask questions and see around, beneath, and beyond the problem itself.
- Guide the problem-solving team toward their goals without them being frustrated or confused.
I think effective problem solving is one of the key attributes that separate great leaders from average ones. So, what type of a leader you want to be?