When faced with a difficult problem, how do you react?
How you face problems is one of the critical factors that help determine how successful you will be in life.
It is also one of the key qualities of a leader! Leaders solve problems - followers go to leaders to get their problems solved.
The first thing to do when faced with a problem.
Is to assume there is an answer out there - it just needs to be found.
Worrying about the problem gets you nowhere; working towards the answer will get you everywhere.
Know that YOU control your attitude and thoughts about any given situation. Leaders control their attitude and focus on results.
The next thing is to collect all the facts about the problem.
Most problems are not as big as they seem at first, once everything is known.
Facts will help you find a better solution, faster.
Knowing this is the next step you can remove the emotion out of the situation.
If someone comes to you with a problem, simply begin asking questions and gather the facts.
Sometimes you have to dig to get to the real problem! How do you dig?
Keep asking questions.
Leaders are good at asking the right questions- and at listening.
Is this really a problem that needs solving?
How bad is the problem?
What is the worst thing that could happen if it is ignored?
These help put things in perspective, and oftentimes everyone will realize that the problem is not as annoying as they seem.
Leaders keep things in perspective to what they really are.
If the problem does need solving-
consider what actions you might personally do that could solve the problem.
Brainstorm all ideas and write them down.
If the problem came from someone else, consider what HE can do to solve it.
It's usually better to teach someone how to solve their own problem than do it for them.
Leaders show you how to do it, not do it for you.
Consider what research you might do to solve the problem.
searching the internet,
asking other people,
Don't make the mistake of thinking you are all -knowing and that your first instinct for an answer is necessarily the best.
Bounce your ideas off from other people, even if you think they know less on the subject.
Sometimes the more you know, the more you can overlook the obvious. Leaders know how to get the information that is out there.
Next, be decisive, pick a solution, and implement it.
Sometimes, a quick fix solution is needed followed by a long-term fix. Either way, once you encounter a problem, it needs a solution. Follow through with it. Know when a solution is outside of your control, and decide when to drop and move forward.
Leaders take systematized steps to solve a problem.
Break the problems into small steps, and then focus on the most immediate steps.
Leaders know how to break problems down into their component and then track the progress of each one at a time.
Finally, test and monitor any solutions you implement- don't just assume you're done.
Despite your best intentions, any solution may fail- it may even make things worse!
Be sure it's possible to undo whatever solution you have implemented, and without being embarassed.
A leader is not ashamed to make mistakes - without mistakes; no progress would ever be made!
And last but not the least.
solve your problems with integrity and honesty; otherwise you will never earn the respect of others.
While this article focused only on solving problems, being a good leader in general is a much larger task, and is worth your effort. The goal of a leader is often simple yet with gratifying end.
Henry Kissinger stated:
"The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been".
Jim Rohn said:
"A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better."