Problem Solving Ability

There are many qualities that a Manager in today’s competitive environment must have. But the most important quality of Leadership that he/she must possess is problem solving ability. The leader must never practice “shoot the messenger of bad news”. Unfortunately many do. 

For a true leader anyone who brings a problem should be a ‘welcome guest’.

Problems abound in any organization. These may be small ones or big disasters. Simple to solve with a little attention or gigantic which may scare anyone. The biggest difficulty happens to be the wish to put the problem under the carpet so that it is not visible. This emerges out of fear – that I may be blamed. But like any other evil, the small problems may sooner or later become massive in size. At that time solutions become difficult though critical. Maybe for the very existence.

So the manager must identify precisely the nature of the problem and define it as clearly as possible. Remain calm. Maintain poise. And take all the necessary action to solve it. What are the qualities necessary for honing this essential skill? Not one, but many! These are listed below:

1. A near perfect Management Information System: Near perfect because perfection is never achieved. It’s important to keep on improving. It’s important to follow the excellence which you can always pursue. But wait until perfection because perfection is a mirage for humans. Only nature is perfect.

2. A passionate belief in the purpose. You must have a strong purpose. You must not underestimate the importance of the job at hand. Unless you do your best in solving problems with a strong passion you cannot master this unique but essential skill.

3. Solving a problem is a process which requires patient application of mind.  Patience and imagination of the two necessary keys for the person wants to excel in the art of problem solving. You need to enjoy applying mind and people around you will also do the same. If constant growth is your goal, there could be no easier method than to follow it with patience using your imagination.

4. Dogged persistence: Persistence is the core quality that you must develop. You must understand that if any problem has to be solved, you need to pursue the action towards resolving the same with nothing less than a dogged persistence. Often the problem remains partly sort and emerges the game because of lack of persistent follow-up of the issue. Keep reviewing but never ever give up!

5. c: One must be open towards learning throughout one’s life.  Often your ego comes in the way of your learning. You start thinking that this is something with that you have been doing and you know it very well. You take things easy considering that you have full knowledge about the subject. In fact, no one ever knows enough. There is always a lot to learn from your own experience and that of others, from books or from any other source.

6. Look at your problem from different angles. Just as a photographer tries to portray the object from different angles, bringing out the life in the subject; likewise when you view the problem from different angles you will be able to chart out alternative solutions. You need to have an eye for detail so that you do not overlook anything. If nothing escapes your eyes and you are willing to spend time in exploring be alternatives you are hitting in the bull’s-eye.

7. The next step is to identify the most suitable solution to the problem. After you have worked out multiple solutions it becomes time to find out which ever is the best. This exercise also requires close watch, patience, open mind, openness to criticism and collaboration with the people who know the subject. Selection of the ideal solution is critical . It’s importance should never be undermined

A Manager can perfect the essential skill of problem solving by developing the above qualities with day to day practice sincerely and consistently.

Thanks for reading.

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