The Presence of Problems and Process of Resolution
Problems are everywhere and it’s a natural human tendency to avoid them; however, try as we might, they don’t just go away. Even the best-laid plans typically encounter an unexpected hitch or set back due to wildly unpredictable events.
So, what can we do about it?
Many successful individuals and companies have a very specific approach problem solving, often involving a bit of flexibility to account for unexpected bumps in the road. In addition, the more problems they solve, the more efficient they become at addressing future issues that arise. During my tenure at IFP, I’ve learned a number of lessons from my experiences and studied how others have responded to internal crises throughout history. Here they are.
Take the problem head-on. Also, don’t get lost in the sauce by reiterating all of the reasons the problem exists or explaining why it’s a big deal. There’s a reason it’s called circle talk – it just keeps going round and round without solving the underlying issue.
Grab the problem by the horns and find a solution. Start by creating a plan of action that explains the current situation and the ideal end result you’d like to achieve.
For just a moment, consider that anything is possible and, once you have a bigger pool of ideas, filter down to a more feasible idea. Don’t automatically assume that certain solutions won’t work or are completely unrealistic.
Remain calm. Trust me, I know problems can create incredibly tense environments that are the anthesis of productivity. These situations can be avoided (or diffused) by keeping your own emotions in check while taking into consideration the emotions of the team around you.
This is especially true if you’re considered the leader in the room. Don’t allow feelings of fear or stress to cloud your perspective or spread into the individuals around you.
Given that you’ve hired the right people, everyone in the room is a subject matter expert in their respective field. Value their opinion and insights. Don’t immediately shut them down or discourage them from speaking during meetings. While they may not have the silver bullet you’re looking for, their ideas may eventually lead to the solution.
So, what are you going to do tomorrow when problems start knocking on your door? If you want to be the best, the effectiveness of your actions – whether as a company or an individual – should not be gauged on how little goes wrong, but rather how you address the situation when things hit the fan.