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How to position yourself as a problem solver during a crisis

Finding clever solutions is all about human ingenuity and learning to do more with less.

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Finding clever solutions is all about human ingenuity and learning to do more with less.

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We tend to see a problem as a problem because we’re not sure how to find the best solution. Conflicts and problems happen are bound to happen and they are opportunities to improve the relationship or system. The most common mistake is thinking that you can find a solution right away. Understand that problem solving is a process that requires constant practice.

Avoidance and emotional reactions are in effective ways to deal with challenges. Navi Radjou in a recent TED TALK said that finding clever solutions is all about human ingenuity and learning to do more with less. Problem solving abilities is a key component in good leadership. How best can you position yourself as a problem solver?

Identify the issue

Begin by answering these questions, “What is the issue? How does it affect me?” This helps you assess clearly the situation at hand. Consider the obstacles and how you can move around them. Keep in mind different people may have different views of what the issues are. It is tough to find solutions without agreement on the problem.

Mental preparedness

Not all problems require an immediate response. Choose to respond appropriately by not allowing emotions to cloud your thoughts. You need to be objective and clear on the possible concerns like what is at risk and the amount of time you have to solve the problem. That is why it is helpful to slow things down so that you don’t make hasty decisions.  

Explore & document   

Brainstorm on the various options available. Do your research and consult if necessary. This is not the step where you make a decision rather it is analyzing the options that could be a possible solution. In the case where you have numerous options then find a way to put it together into a more satisfactory solution. Don’t rely on your memory. Write down all the details and implications to give you a better outlook on which one works.    

Monitor & evaluate  

Once you have weighed the options and agreed on which is suitable, a solution has been found. Ensure there are strategies to monitor and evaluate any foreseeable future circumstances. You can decide to try it for a specific duration like three to six months and observe the effects it has.

Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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