When a problem arises, your first instinct might be to try to fix it as quickly as possible. Depending on the issue, this approach could end up not really helping at all. Instead of getting to the root cause of the problem, you’re merely providing a quick fix that doesn’t solve anything.

Whether you lead a team or not, problem-solving is a key skill that’s worth refining. According to a post on the Indeed blog, there are six steps that can help you polish this skill. Keep reading this issue of PromoPro Daily for an overview of the post.

1. Identify the problem. You might be dealing with one issue or multiple issues. Define each problem and try to determine why the problem occurred. Then, the post recommends that you:

  • Separate facts from fiction.
  • Determine the process where the problem exists.
  • Analyze company policies and procedures.
  • Discuss with team members involved in order to gather more information.
  • Define the problem in specific terms.
  • Gather all the necessary information required to solve the problem.

If you’re dealing with a particularly complex problem, incorporate tools like flowcharts or diagrams to help you better visualize the problem and its causes.

2. Brainstorm solutions. There may be several potential solutions, so invite your team members to weigh in with their ideas. According to the Indeed post, you should distinguish between short- and long-term solutions and try to have at least five to eight possible solutions for each problem.

3. Evaluate solutions. The next step to better problem-solving is thinking through all the different options. What are the potential positive and negative outcomes of each? You should also think through the resources required, from the budget to the staff involved.

4. Choose an option. When deciding how to proceed, the Indeed post recommends considering whether:

  • It solves the problem smoothly without creating another problem.
  • It is acceptable to everyone involved.
  • It is practical and easy to implement.
  • It fits within the company’s policies and procedures.

It is important to consider implementation when choosing a solution. Decide the following:

  • Who are employees responsible for executing the solution.
  • How the employees will implement the solution.
  • How much time and resources will be needed.

5. Implement the selected solution. According to the post, this may involve developing an action plan, defining objectives and timelines, communicating to all stakeholders and developing feedback channels.

6. Monitor progress and adjust. If your chosen solution doesn’t work as planned, return to your list of alternative solutions and implement a new plan. 

Problems will pop up from time to time. What counts is how you respond to them. You can begin to improve your problem-solving skills by considering the points above.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: The editorial team of Indeed, a site that connects job applicants with employers.