Ask anyone what they do at work, and many will mention problem-solving and decision-making. How many of these people have actually been trained in one or other of them? It can be an important part of your working day, but do you know whether you’re doing it effectively? What do you do when faced with a problem? Most people tend to get a little afraid and feel uncomfortable, hoping it’ll go away. They might also feel pressured to come up with an answer, which has to be the right one. Alternatively, they may also look for someone to blame. None of these reactions are very productive. Here are some more effective ways to deal with problem-solving.
Identify the Issue
Before you can come up with an effective solution, you need to be clear about what the problem is. If there are different people involved, it’s highly likely they will all view the problem in a slightly different way. Part of defining the problem will be breaking it down and being as specific as possible.
What is the Underlying Cause of the Problem?
A big part of the problem-solving process will be finding the cause. It’s important to identify why something has happened, in order to find a solution. Looking for the root cause can be quite tedious. However, it will make finding a solution easier. Let’s give you an example to illustrate this point. How many of you pick up your headphones, only to discover the wires are all tangled in a knot? How do you solve this problem? By going back to the beginning and unraveling it at the end of the line. Pulling at it from the centre will only make the tangle worse and the knot tighter.
Get Some Help
If you really want to figure out a solution all by yourself then go for it. However, a much better option will be to look for some help. You can start by looking online for a solution, but don’t spend hours doing it before you ask a friend or work colleague for some help. Another person will have a different perspective on the problem; they may have also encountered a similar problem before, and know the solution. To help you in the future with any problems that arise, consider a problem-solving eLearning course offered by a company such as engageinlearning.com.
With these three steps out of the way, there is only one course of action left and that’s to fix the problem. Determine what steps need to be taken to fix the issue and then enlist some help. Don’t feel the need to do this all on your own. If you have to delegate, make sure you give that person all the relevant information. That includes background details, the desired outcome and whether there is a specific time frame. It’s important that you’re all on the same page.
Problems are going to pop up every now and again, they’re all part of life. Knowing what to do when they happen will improve your stress levels and do wonders for your career.