When leading a team or running an organisation, you are bound to run into problems or challenges now and then. Problem-solving skills come in handy in times like this. As a leader, you need to equip yourself and your team members with the necessary skills needed to solve the problems that will arise at work.
Problem-solving is mostly about using logic to understand a threatening situation, analyse it for possible solutions and come up with effective ways to execute the solution and terminate the problem completely. The skills that are used in this process are what are refer to as problem-solving skills. They are not just a unique set of skills made solely for problem-solving but rather, a combination of skills and techniques that are often used when you need to solve a problem.
Improving your problem-solving skills and that of your employees would mean paying extra attention to these skills and techniques, improving them through constant practice, training, and study of how best they can be used to your advantage.
Research and analytical skills are two of the most common problem-solving skills that should be employed at every workplace. When confronted by a problem, you need to understand the cause, the history, the effects, and the possible solutions to such a problem. While all these may seem a bit too much, as a leader and a master problem solver, these are things you need to pay attention to.
Here’s why: understanding the cause of the problem helps you know how to prevent it from coming up a second time. Knowing the history of the problem offers insight into how it has been solved in the past and you can gain useful knowledge that can be used in solving it from that. Knowing the effects of the problem helps you know the weight of what you are dealing with and also tells you what you need to do after solving the problem to remedy the effects. Lastly, discovering possible solutions is the summary of everything.
Research allows you to get answers to all these four questions. You begin by gathering information with your team through brainstorming and researching online. Brainstorming during research helps you to realize what you know and what you do not know. After brainstorming, you can also seek advice from experts or experienced colleagues who have encountered such a problem. Research is fundamental to problem-solving.
Analytical skills also come in handy here. Analysing the problem helps you understand the problem and provide effective solutions. Analysing is about breaking down the problem and looking at it from a deeper perspective as opposed to dealing with it from the surface level. Brainstorming and analysing together as a team fosters teamwork and unity in the company and helps your employees bond with each other.
Other problem-solving skills can help you find effective solutions. Adaptability and dependability are two of such skills. Adaptability refers to your ability to quickly adjust to the present condition. We encounter problems at the most unexpected time. Quickly understanding that you are now in problem-solving or crisis management mode helps a lot in finding quick solutions and ensuring that extreme damage is not done before solutions come.
Dependability is closely linked to adaptability. The fact that problems arise when we do not expect them means leaders need dependable employees. You need those who can show up immediately and deliver what you want them to without giving excuses; those you can trust to troubleshoot a problem and implement solutions quickly.
Leaders can work towards improving these problem-solving skills in their employees. One way to do this is by presenting every employee with an opportunity to solve problems. Problem-solving skills are practical skills that become better with practice. The more you engage them, the better you are at them. You can help your employees get better by engaging them in problem-solving sessions. Also, encourage them to seek out new situations to engage and improve their skills.
In addition to this, gaining technical knowledge in your field is another way to build your problem-solving skills. Problem-solving is mostly practical and technical. Having the necessary knowledge improves your chances at problem-solving. As a leader, you can organize trainings for your employees to learn this.
Lastly, you can watch and learn. Since problem-solving is mostly practical (as we’ve earlier emphasized), you can watch how it is done and pick up the necessary skills you need, develop them, and be an excellent problem solver for your company.
Problem-solving is a central part of running a company. It happens every time and having a team that can show up for you anytime is an asset to your company.