[vimeo id="156018609"] You know, if there’s one thing every person can expect in life it’s dealing with problems. However, let’s remember that one of the key marks of an effective leader is how you find a solution to a problem. Now, there’s no set formula in dealing with challenges. Each problem is different and has a unique solution. Maybe you’re having difficulty with certain members in your organization. Perhaps it’s a practical obstacle to achieving a certain result. The solution will almost always be different. But there are a few steps leaders should generally take in approaching problem-solving.
First of all, dialogue with other leaders and mentors. You know, conversation is one of the greatest tools for dealing with challenges. Talking with experts and experienced leaders can give you tremendous wisdom and insight. You see, if you’re dealing with an issue in your organization, you can bet there are other leaders who have dealt with something similar before as well. But dialogue also gives you a variety of perspectives that you normally wouldn’t perceive. Having this holistic approach can help you find the key to solving whatever challenge you’re facing. Even the book of proverbs says that wisdom is found in the council of many advisers.
Secondly, take the problem one step at a time. Break it down. Are there multiple issues you need to deal with in this one obstacle? If there are, focus on just one of them. Always look for the root cause? What are your parameters? Do you have a fall-back plan? You see, if you try to tackle the whole issue at once, you’ll probably be overwhelmed. Real-world challenges usually aren’t one-dimensional. They’re complex and inter-related. Breaking the issue apart helps you simplify the problem and focus on achieving your main priority.
Third, focus on finding the root issue. Many times the problems that we deal with are usually just manifestations of the foundational problem. Anger, frustration, and abrupt actions are usually the result of other human problems. Your teammates might be feeling left out of the decision–making process. Someone might be dealing with insecurity problems. Another might be feeling like they don’t matter to the team. Again the problem is usually a result of something deeper, so always look for the root cause. Now this will take a lot of dialogue at times, because people might not want to be vulnerable, because most of the time, people tend to want to hide their insecurity. So keep an open mind and approach each person and the problem with grace and humility.
Finally, try to rephrase the problem. Sometimes it can be hard to find a solution because we continue to approach the problem the wrong way. Finding a new approach can be hard especially if we’ve always dealt with the challenge the same way for a long time. For example, let’s say you’re dealing with an under-performing teammate. Maybe the challenge is not getting them to do their current job better. Perhaps the real problem is matching them to a job that fits their skillset. It’s not always easy. But finding a different tactic or approach to a challenge will often provide you with valuable insight.
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