Have you ever been in a position where you’ve taken on a new role, and you were excited about the work you were about to do? But, much to your dismay, it seems as if all you have are problems to solve?
If you’ve been in this position before, you’re not alone. Plenty of people have accepted new roles only to find out that they’ve become the new problem-solving king or queen, even if they don’t think they’re good at solving problems.
Well, today, we’re going to talk about the importance of problem-solving skills and why the skill is essential.
What exactly is problem-solving?
- It’s the ability to find solutions to problems
- It’s the ability to determine the root cause of problems and determine alternative solutions.
Why leaders must be adept at problem-solving.
- Businesses face a variety of challenges and issues every day. As a result, they rely on their leaders to be able to solve those problems.
- Leaders who can think through the facts, diagnose a situation, and then come up with alternative solutions, help a business thrive and move forward.
- Leaders who have great problem-solving skills help their teams achieve their goals because they can anticipate roadblocks and other challenges that could hinder a team’s ability to be successful.
Aspiring leader problem solving
If you’re an aspiring leader, here’s what exceptional problem-solving skills look like:
- You identify problems quickly.
- In addition to identifying problems, you also bring solutions to the table. Bringing solutions to the table is important because no one wants to hear leaders focus on issues. They want you also to identify potential solutions.
- You consider what’s been done in the past to solve similar problems.
- You wait for permission to put solutions in place in situations where the impact may be beyond your scope of responsibility.
Problem Solving as a Manager
As a manager, there’s a much higher bar to show that you have effective problem-solving skills. Here’s what exceptional problem-solving skills looks like at the manager level:
- Managers are capable of determining options for addressing the problems.
- They’re adept at identifying the constraints and risks associated with the solutions that they bring to the table.
- They also determine viable options based on the information they have available to them at the time.
- They almost always consider the longer-term implications of the options or constraints before selecting a solution.
- When needed, they seek input from key stakeholders
- Finally, they implement decisions quickly and with confidence.
Root Causes of Poor Problem Solving Skills
1. Inability to combine analytical and creative thinking
It is being able to analyze and understand data while synthesizing that information and thinking about it creatively to come up with solutions.
If you cannot analyze and understand data, you’re not able to determine patterns or understand what the data tell you.
2. A lack of energy or drive
Lack of energy or drive means that you don’t have the desire to be a problem solver, or you are not energized by problem-solving, so you don’t make an effort.
3. Limited knowledge about problem-solving techniques
Some leaders don’t know how to solve problem-solving because they lack knowledge about various problem-solving techniques.
- Problem-solving is one’s ability to identify the root causes of problems and come up with alternative solutions.
- The reason that as leaders, we must have effective problem-solving skills is that businesses face a variety of problems daily. Businesses rely on their leaders to come up with alternative solutions so that the business can move forward.
- As an aspiring leader, one can show effective problem-solving skills by not only identifying problems but also bringing solutions to the table.
- As managers, not only should you be able to identify problems and bring solutions to the table, you should also be able to identify the longer-term implications of the various options or solutions that you bring to the table. And you should also be able to implement these solutions quickly and competently.
- And finally, one who doesn’t show effective problem-solving skills may not know or understand the various processes and options or may lack the knowledge of the various tools that are available to develop their problem-solving skills.
Now that you’ve heard more about problem-solving and why it’s an important skill for leaders to have, how are you feeling about your problem-solving skills?
Are they up to par?
If they are, that’s great.
If you think your problem-solving skills aren’t up to par and you like to improve your problem-solving skills, I’ve got the solution for you. Go to the bottom of this post and download a checklist called Seven Easy Steps to Solving Difficult Problems.
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