Delegation and management are no longer the sole responsibilities and roles of today's leaders. Instead, when it comes to effective leadership, issue solving is not only a valuable skill, but also a critical function for executives to play. With these 5 ways, solving problems will not seem like a huge deal any longer.
The Most Effective Ways Leaders Solve Problems
- Stop the blame game
- Identify, define and analyze the problem
- Make use of PDCA
- Transparent communication by breaking down silos
- Develop an open mind
1. Stop the blame game
The first thing many people do when something goes wrong is hunt for someone to blame. The practice is widespread, but it's not only ineffective; it's also a symptom of poor leadership. Stop blaming and start seeking for answers if people want to stand up and be leaders. Yes, it is frequently required to correctly identify the source of an issue, but this is not leadership in and of itself. After you've discovered an issue, the first thing you should do is ask yourself, "How can you solve this?"
So, let's take a look at problem-solving from the perspective of personal accountability. After all, we're meant to act like grownups, not kids, because we're an apparently enlightened species. When you make a mistake, make it your primary goal to figure out how to prevent it from happening again.
Finding out what happened is often a necessary part of correcting an issue, but let's not fool yourself into thinking you’ve accomplished something valuable simply by identifying someone to blame. Examining the four P's: People, Products, Policies, and Procedures, is one technique to handle problems.
2. Identify, define and analyze the problem
If a solution is implemented too soon, it may not entirely address the issue. Rather, spend time analyzing and identifying the extent and nature of the problem so that you can come up with a few good ideas before acting. Don't mistake the problem's generic name with the problem's true definition.
To really clarify the issue, say something like, "I know our department expected twice the revenue reflected in the estimate here, and just three salesmen from a team of ten are represented." Then you must determine when and what the resolution should be: I need the accurate prediction for a board meeting in one week.
You should also consider how the situation has impacted the company's overall performance. Perhaps the sales prediction report had an impact on other departments in the organization as well in the example above. To comprehend the scope of the impact, look for overarching trends and ask questions about who, what, when, where, why, and how. The goal is to identify the fundamental problem so that you can apply a long-term remedy rather than a Band-Aid.
3. Make use of PDCA
The Plan-Do-Check-Act framework as a technique of arranging problem solving and continuous improvement. It takes a straightforward method but delivers a powerful message.
Plan: Determine the issue, desired outcome, and the facts. Begin by defining the reasons and working way to the core causes.
Do: Improvements should be implemented and tested.
Check: Check to see if it worked and go over the data.
Act: Standardize the improvement if it worked. If not, go on to the next problem and continue the PDCA process.
The leader’s job is to make sure that the PDCA model is being followed correctly and that individuals are learning how to use it. They must also be aware of their own processes and systems. They will be in the best position to make informed and accurate modifications if they understand them through monitoring and measuring facts. The leader also makes sure they don't make hasty judgments. This is a common blunder made by many unskilled practitioners. It also leads to unfinished solutions where problems resurface on a regular basis.
4. Transparent communication by breaking down silos
Transparent communication necessitates the dismantling of silos and the creation of a boundary-less company with a culture centered on the improvement of a healthy whole. Silos that aren't essential invite hidden agendas rather than efficient cross-functional collaboration and problem solving. Most workplace issues stem from organizational silos, which is why many of them never get resolved.
This is why today's new workplace must embrace an entrepreneurial culture in which employees can freely roam and collaborate to solve problems; where everyone can be a passionate explorer who understands their own workplace dot and its intersections. When you work in silos that may prevent you from having any influence at all, this is nearly impossible to assess.
Problem solving is more challenging in a company where silos exist since you are more likely to be dealing with self-promoters rather than team players nurtured by a cross functional setting. It becomes increasingly impossible to help make anything or anyone better when you operate in a compartmentalized atmosphere where everyone wants to be a star. This is when solving problems becomes a frustrating task.
By dismantling silos, a leader can more easily involve his or her people in getting their hands dirty and working together to solve challenges. It becomes less about business politics and more about finding answers and strengthening the company.
5. Develop an open mind
Many people like causing unneeded confusion in the workplace so that their inefficiencies are never exposed. Loafers and leeches are the types of people who make it difficult to solve problems by slowing down the process in order to make oneself appear more significant. Discover the organization's lifters and high-potential leaders to see examples of the advantages of being open-minded and how this leads to increased innovation and initiative.
Risk is their best friend for open-minded people who see beyond the obvious details in front of them. They confront issues head on and get down to business promoting development and innovation. Close-minded employees flip things around to make it about them rather than what it takes to turn a problem into a fresh opportunity. With this explanation in mind, the next time you're confronted with a real situation, pay close attention to what others are doing.
The biggest enabler of growth and opportunity is problem solving. This is why failure is regarded as the most important lesson in business and life. Be the leader who demonstrates maturity, acts bravely, and holds people accountable. Each of these lessons can help you become a master problem solver if you use them. Every event teaches us something new. Accept problem solving and all of the hidden treasures it contains.
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