Problem Solving - A Guide To Business Leadership


Problem Solving is an essential component of leadership. Business leaders today are faced with countless tough decisions that need to be made every day.

And every decision taken has serious ramifications.If you need help enhancing your problem solving skills, follow these strategies:

problem solving

Problem Solving Strategies

Perform an analysis

Conduct a situation analysis. What is the real problem, and why do you need to make the decision?  Who will it affect? What would happen if it’s not made?

Assess the tools, i.e. data, interviews, surveys, supporting information and research you have for arriving at a decision.

Performing this stage of the problem solving process is key. We have all heard the old saying, garbage in - garbage out! It is very true when it comes to solving problems. If we don't truly understand the actual problem we are spinning our wheels.

Take the time necessary to fully grasp what the problem is before moving forward with the rest of the process.

Set emotions aside

Leaders have to make tough decisions all the time. Some of your decisions may not please your team. But, sometimes you don't have much of a choice, if we are putting the concerns of the entire team and company first. 

Clear your head and make the decision. Focus on the bigger picture. Try to understand the actual problem and remember that you can’t always please everyone, all the time.

Take Time

When evaluating the problem correctly you must take time to make the right decision, especially if it’s a big one. Give yourself enough time to process the information you have. That being said, don’t take too much of everyone’s time. Once you have enough facts about the problem, get it done and over with.

Communicate effectively

Not everyone sees the problem the same way and may not always accept the decision you made easily. Some people will need more time to process it. Explain the decision to them. Be specific and open.

However, once you have explained the decision you made about the problem its time to move forward and don't let this linger in the workplace.

Assess risk-reward

If you’re on the fence about a decision, compare the potential risks with rewards. A risk-reward ratio is a solid technique to determine the success or failure of a decision.

Determine if it’s the right thing to do

Do you believe in your decision? Do you stand behind it? Assess whether it’s something that requires you to compromise your personal values, integrity or character.

Trust your gut

Listen to your instincts. It’s much stronger that you may realize. Alongside analytics, check what your gut says.

Have a back up

Always have a plan B. Sometimes things may not run in your favor. What do you do then? Thus, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan.

Make the decision

Last, but not last, make the decision, no matter how uncertain or difficult it may seem. You will never know its success or failure unless you actually run with it.

For more valuable tips on effective leadership, we’ve got you covered. We understand leadership and management needs of modern workplaces. We offer an array of educational resources and tools, along with countless examples of good leadership qualities, to help you take on the role of a successful leader.