Title quote credit: John Dewey
Opportunities are missed by most people because it is dressed up in an overall and looks like work ~ Thomas A Edison
Problem Solving Skills
Problem-solving skills should be classified as a critical skill, a superpower. In everyday life, you are faced with problems – or if you prefer – challenges that either makes life interesting or destroys your soul. Whether it be in your personal or professional life, if you are a boss or an employer, problems are here to stay!
What are problem-solving skills anyway?
It helps you determine the source of the problem and assist you in finding an effective solution. Although some people will define it as a skill on its own, the following are some related skills that contribute to your ability to solve problems.
- Active listening – it is very important to know the difference between hearing and listening.
- Decision making – there is nothing worse than management that cannot give direction. Any decision should also not be taken lightly.
- Team-building. A team that dreams together, builds together. Team building is a very effective tool to bring a group together and to stimulate same-thought behaviour.
- Communication – don’t let the lack of communication stand in your way of making a well-informed decision.
What every organisation needs are a practical and capable problem solver. The following four attributes will stand you in good stead.
Management often forget that motivated, happy staff are more productive which directly links to your bottom line. Give credit where it is due; to ensure that you continually get the best out of your employees, you need to boost morale.
Capable problem-solvers want to defeat difficulties with all their energy. It becomes an obsession which, in this case, is mostly a good attribute to have. However, this needs to be monitored so that it does not have a negative influence on team members.
There is a long list of positive personality traits, eg. ambitious, intuitive, calm. These are all necessary for problem-solving. You cannot solve the problem if, in your mind, the problem is too big to be solved. You need a positive team with an extra positive leader.
A powerful self-image is a positive trait. You need to believe in yourself; you need to believe that you can solve the problem. Beware that your ego does not stand in your way should you need to seek counsel on the matter. Know your limitations, put your pride in your pocket, ask for help when you need it. After all, the outcome of the problem could influence the livelihood of others.
The good news is that if it does not come naturally, it can be learned. You can develop the ability to solve problems successfully through practice.
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them” ~ Albert Einstein