The Simple Way to Be a Better Problem Solver

Problem solving is an important skill to have in order to be a good leader.

We solve small and large problems daily. If I put a difficult circumstance in front of you right now, would you leap in headfirst or sit on your hands? That’s just two ways of how not to resolve an issue.

Some managers can’t solve problems because they lack commitment to follow through or they act rashly without consideration for people, circumstances, and environment. Leaders adopt a method to handle tough situations.

Leaders like you need a foundation of how to sort things out. Keep in mind that problem solving is not the same as decision making—it is a METHOD that includes decision making.

Your method can pop up in everyday life, for example, in travel planning. Here is a simple way to be a better problem solver.

Pick your destination

The issue is you’re not on vacation and you want to go somewhere (we all do actually!). Ensure your approach has the goal set first. Everything you do must lead to the result. Formulating your process will take preparation.

Make a plan

Planning is important for revealing any potential road blocks, inconsistencies and it will frustrate you. Deal with it! Organization is essential to help you define a process to increase the chances of a smoother trip. Check out how these travel questions help streamline things for you:

  • Will you take a car, plane, train or boat? (Decide how you will accomplish the objective.)
  • What do you pack? (Gather the resources together to accomplish the goal.)
  • Who is going with you? (You don’t need to know it all, so pick out people to fill your blind spots.)
  • When are we leaving? When do we come back? (Set a timeline to get things done.)
  • Will it be fun? (Prepare yourself for success or failure.)

You’ve prepped and understand how to tackle the issue at hand, and it’s time to get moving.

Problem solving = action

You’re constantly making decisions that progress to taking action. Once you know where you’re going and how you to get there, then implement the solution. You may need to defend it against opponents. Hopefully, this is averted because other people are involved in your plan. No matter the outcome, always follow up. The self-accountability builds you up as a leader.

Problem solving is an essential proficiency to be a better leader. If your actions don’t help achieve the goal, go back to the planning stage and repeat as needed. Use this simple approach way to develop your technique for a superior management journey.


Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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