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May 30, 2016

Handle Problems Head-on

Most of us would rather avoid problems than handle them, but as a manager and leader, handling problems effectively is a skill you need to develop. Often, we jump to a solution without thoroughly analyzing the problem. Before you can attempt to problem solve, you need information. Here are some questions to answer before you focus on possible solutions.Problem Opportunity

  • What do you think the problem is? Take some time to describe your viewpoint of the situation.
  • Who’s affected? Is it unique to your team or department or are areas outside your responsibility involved? Everyone involved in the problem needs to be part of its resolution.
  • Is it transitory or situational? Some problems will resolve themselves with time; you only need to monitor them.
  • What’s the source of the problem? Is it a system or process? Is a person or group causing it?
  • What is contributing to the problem? Are there factors or people who are making the problem worse?
  • What can you do about it? Are there actions you can take to address the problem?
  • Who else needs to be involved in the solution? Sometimes, a problem involves several people with different functions and in different areas. In these cases, it is important to identify everyone who has a part in the solution.

Taking time to research the problem and answer these questions will put you in a better position to identify and resolve the problem.

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