Master the problem solving techniques

Master the problem solving techniques


Rob Moore has some great ideas for dealing with problems.

The first idea: don’t call it a problem. Seeing the obstacles you face as challenges to get over rather than as problems that are stopping you will help you stay in the right mind-set.

Your ‘problems’ won’t go away until you deal with them, and you’ll keep hitting them until you treat them like challenges that you need break through.

Problems will stop being problems when you learn the best way to deal with them, and when you start to appreciate that then every challenge offers an opportunity to learn and improve.

Although you may have your own ideas of steps to add in, this system is a real help for anyone who needs a better way to deal with their obstacles:

1. Observe how you react to the ‘problem’ – did you get angry or frustrated? Do you panic? Or do you stop and contemplate the issue at hand?

2. Isolate yourself – often, it’s better to wait rather than react at once. You need some time to think. Go for a walk or take a trip to the gym – don’t try to fix anything immediately because your reaction is likely to be lead by emotion.

3. Get good advice – whether from mentors, advisers, friends or family; talking a problem out will almost always help you to think clearly about it.

4. Get rid of the emotion – if the problem has made you feel a certain way, then you need to take time away. A challenge in business should be viewed logically.

5. Get to the root of the challenge – ask why this has happened. If you know the cause then it’s easier to fix.

6. Set some clear actions – what are you going to do? How are you going to do it? When are you going to do it?

7. Assign responsibility for getting over the challenge – who can help with what part of the fixing process? What skills will you need to proceed?

8. Set yourself a time frame or deadline – if you have an aim for completion, then you’re likely to work more efficiently. Knowing when things need to be done by will normally improve both work ethic and productivity.

9. Feedback – how is feedback being passed around? Do people know what’s being fixed and how? Do they know about changes that might affect them?

10. Keep notes – create a document that tracks your progress. Knowing what you’ve done to fix a problem and having a record of it can often save time and energy in the future.

Using this structure, or at least certain elements of it, has been a real help to me in my business. Understanding how to manage a situation and how best to get over it is half the fight when it comes to challenge-management. Don’t be beaten just because you’ve under-thought a situation.

What is your successful problem solving technique?