Ever felt the pressure of needing to solve a business problem instantly?
You know what I mean. Everyone is waiting for your solution, after all you're the boss and you should have an answer!
BUT you're lost for words, can't think and just can't concentrate!
And then suddenly you get a flash of inspiration, blurt out your solution and everything changes! The room comes back into focus and you can breathe again.
You've run into the - leap at my first thought to resolve the problem - syndrome of problem solving.
Does it sound familiar? Well then you've got a problem - with your problem solving technique!
You see it's easy to get seduced by the need to solve problems - INSTANTLY!
Because there is always time to think - unless you're being chased by an angry bear (not likely for most of us).
Here's a quick 5 Step Problem Solving Formula you can implement in (almost) any situation:
Take a Step Back from the problem and identify the real problem by asking questions about the problem.
Is it really an issue or just confusion?
Who says it's a problem?
Where is it occurring?
Why did it happen?
What Outcome do you want as a result of the solution you may come up with.
Get clear on what you want so that you can then take a path toward it!
Create a number of Alternative solutions to the problem, which may require you to brainstorm with your team.
Allow as many alternatives to come to help everyone to 'see' the problem differently.
Select the Most Appropriate solution by thinking through the other factors that can affect the solution.
Such as - money, time, people, procedures and more.
Implement the solution and Evaluate the outcome to identify if you have achieved the outcome you set out to achieve.
Decide on what changes need to be made to the process in case you need to resolve the problem again if the outcome doesn't suit.