6 Tips for leaders about how to problem solve effectively

While building a successful business, you will find that you are going to be overcome with obstacles and difficulties the entire time.

Being an entrepreneur myself and facing these challenges on a daily basis I sometimes find that I am constantly spending time coming up with ideas to fix problems that occur, than actually running the business itself.

Talking with other entrepreneurs, I find that they have similar problems. Even when a business grows, people in leadership positions are often seen as someone who can battle through anything when under pressure.  The pressure never stops, even when you are a successful company and you are making millions of dollars a year.

In business it’s important to learn to solve problems, whether you work for yourself or you own a multi-national company with hundreds of staff. Problem solving is the one tool that you will always need to be using.

When problem solving, there is always a way to solve a problem and there is almost always more than one right answer. During the problem solving process, this should be a time that you can ask as many questions as possible and come up with as many crazy ideas as you can, as you never know which idea might turn out to be the right idea.

By researching different problem solving techniques of successful business leaders, you can then get a better idea of what some of your own challenges are. Here are a few tips I have put together to help you and your staff members in the problem solving process.

Being Professional at All Times

In tough situations the best leaders never lose their cool, even when there is every reason to do so. When building a team, this is especially important, as your employees will look to you for examples. When there is a difficult situation it’s important to remain professional and calm, no matter how bad a situation escalates. By being able to conduct yourself in this manner, it will help with earning respect from your customers and team members.

Big-Picture Thinking

When running a company, it is important to keep an eye on the big picture and constantly assess what will help towards the company’s mission. When first starting a business, it can become easy to get caught up in the daily running of the business and forget about where you want your company to be heading. This is why problem solving is important, as it allows you to address all these small issues and move on towards the bigger picture.

With only so much time in a day, it’s important to focus efforts on solving at least 20% of the daily problems you face. You cannot solve everything and it is important to let some things go as there just isn’t enough time.

Spending too much time on one certain issue may impact your business in the long term. So this is why it might be necessary to change your approach to problems so it can help increase further success, rather than thinking short-term and only fixing short-term issues.

Avoid Finger-Pointing

When problems are first identified, it is easy to start looking for who to blame. It could take hours to find out who made the error that led to the current problem. In a situation like this, your time will be more productive spent working with your team to find a solution. Instead of pointing the finger and asking the staff member why they made the mistake, it’s better to go into problem solving mode and make to team member feel as if they are helping to fix the damage, which will also help with an increase of employee engagement.

Collect Data

This day and age we are surrounded with endless amounts of data, which can be valuable to identify competitors and customer behavior. Being able to gather as many facts as possible, can help you break down the problem solving process and ultimately find a solution faster. To be a step above your competitors, depends on having hard evidence to make clear decisions. Businesses who rely on making guesses will not be able to make a clear path to achieve their business objectives and goals.

Be Positive

If you are a person who always dwells on the negatives, you are only going to bring down the morale of your team. Being positive is about looking at the negatives and turning them into opportunities and focusing on the positives of working through problems. A great way to be able to build positive energy is to conduct brainstorming sessions with staff members, as it can be really hard to come up with great ideas on your own. Including other staff members in the problem solving process will likely be beneficial for your business.

Monitoring Results

To be an effective leader, it’s important to pay close attention to any results that have happened from the changes you have made. This can help the business to move forward and concentrate on the next goal that will help your business towards its mission. Finding solutions to problems and properly implementing them, will better help you avoid repeating the same mistakes for the future and save you time in the long run.

 

Leadership is about dealing with the day-to-day running of your business and also working towards goals like company and employee growth and adding new income. When you can find new ways to deal with whatever challenge you face, you are likely to boost your team’s confidence and morale, which can ultimately help your businesses image, create happy customers and increase sales and revenue.

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