By Charles Alvarez , Contributor, the Price of Business Show. * Sponsored
As mentioned earlier, successful people are intensely solution– oriented. The fact is that life is a continuous succession of problems and difficulties, without end. This river of problems is only interrupted by the occasional crisis, which makes the problems seem small in comparison.
In fact, if you are living a busy life, you will probably experience a crisis of some kind every two to three months throughout your life. You will have business crises, family crises, financial crises, health crises and other crises. The problems and crises never stop. They keep coming, like the waves of the ocean. Theonly thing you can control is your responses to these problems and crises. And therein lies the key to your success.
Successful people respond effectively to problems. Ineffective people do not. Successful people take a deep breath, relax and think clearly. They look for the good in every situation. They seek the valuable lesson. Above all, they focus on the solution, on what can be done, rather than what has happened and who is to blame.
Deal With Each Problem EffectivelyThere is a methodology that you can use to solve any problem. It requires that you approach the business of problem solving systematically, and in an organized fashion. Just like there is a process for solving mathematical problems, there is a process for solving business and life problems, and you can learn it use it for the rest of your career.
Step One: Define the problem clearly. A problem properly defined is half solved. It is absolutely amazing how much time iswasted floundering around looking for a solution when no one is quite clear about the problem.
Step Two: Ask, “What are all the possible causes of this problem?” Look for both the obvious and the not so obvious causes of the problem. How did it begin? What are its origins? What triggered it in the first place? What is the critical variable that changed to cause the problem in the first place? What assumptions were made that led to the problem? Just like a doctor conducting an intensive examination on a sick patient, you should thoroughly dissect the problem before you attempt to solve it.
Step Three: Ask, “What are all the possible solutions?” Avoid the natural tendency of most human beings to leap from a problem definition to a conclusion regarding a solution of some kind. Always ask, “What else is the solution?”
Sometimes the best solution is to nothing at all. Sometimes the best solution is to gather more information. Sometimes, the bestsolution is to realize that this is not your problem and pass it onto someone else whose responsibility it is.
Step Four: Once you have identified several possible solutions, ask, “What must this solution accomplish?” the only way you can judge the attractiveness of a solution is to determine, in advance, what you want the solution to accomplish.
You’ve heard it said that, “The operation was a success, but the patient died.” It is very common for us to initiate a solution, and implement it, but the problem is not only not solved, but it is worse than it was before we took action in the first place.
Be sure that the solution you select will accomplish the purpose you had in mind when you started on the problem solving exercise in the first place.
Step Five: Once you have decided on the ideal solution, assign specific responsibility, or take responsibility yourself for implementing the solution. Set a deadline for implementation. Set ameasure by which you can determine if the solution has been effective.
A problem solving discussion that does not lead to agreement on a specific solution, accompanied by the assignment of personal responsibility and a deadline, is a problem that will come back over and over again, without resolution.
Practice this systematic method of dealing with a problem over and over until it becomes a habit of thinking. You will be amazed at how much more effective you become, and how much better your results will be using this method.
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