Problem solving is the essence of what leaders exist to do. As a business owner, you must realise that all will not always be rosy. Once in a while, there would problems that require you to act like a leader. You must therefore be ready for whatever problems that comes with running a business.
In problem solving, the goal is to minimize the occurrence of problems – which means you must be courageous enough to tackle them head-on before they escalate.
Here are top tips to help you solve problems like a real leader.
Problem solving requires transparent communication where everyone’s concerns and points of view are freely expressed. It’s usually difficult to get to the root of the matter in a timely manner when people do not speak-up and express themselves – fearing they may threaten their job and/or expose their own or someone else’s wrong-doing.
As a leaders, facilitate an ope dialogue between people. Make them trust your intention and feel that they are in a safe environment to share why they believe the problem happened as well as specific solutions. Once all voices have been heard and all points of view accounted for, you can collectively map-out a path toward a viable and sustainable solution.
Encourage cross-functional collaboration
Transparent communication requires you to build cross-functional teams and enable a boundary-less organization whose culture is focused on the betterment of a healthier whole.
Organizational boundaries are the root cause of most workplace problems and are why many of them never get resolved. This is why today’s new workplace must embrace an entrepreneurial spirit where employees can freely navigate and cross-collaborate to connect the problem solving dots. By taking down boundaries, as a leader, you’ll be able to easily engage your employees to get their hands dirty and solve problems together.
Connect the dots
Effective leaders who are comfortable with problem-solving always know how to gather the right people, resources, budgets and knowledge from past experiences and connect the dots to create new solutions, map out realistic plans of action and manage and create opportunities.
Learn to inspire people to lift their game by making the problem-solving process highly collaborative and bring people closer together. To do this effectively, however, leaders must take enough time to step back and assess the situation and the opportunities that each problem represents to create sustainable solutions.
Create a solid strategy
Many leaders attempt to dissect a problem rather than identify the strategy for change that lies within the problem itself. Without strategy, change is merely substitution, not evolution. A solid strategy must be implemented in order to solve any problem.
When solving problems within your organisation, take time to step back, access the situation and the opportunities each problem presents. Make the problem solving process more efficient by recognising that each problem has its own nuances that may require a distinct strategy towards a viable solution.
Come up with more than one solution
The need to be right can make you disregard solutions that are just what you need for far too long. You don’t know what will actually work before you try it. What may seem like a good solution in theory doesn’t always work in reality. So brain-storm and come up with at least a few solutions. If plan A didn’t work, try plan B.
Also ensure that you open your mind to a solution that may work and try it out instead of just making snap judgments based on little information and experience.
How do you solve problems in your organisation?