Professional Development

Become a Problem Solver – Here’s How!

By: Emily Dawson
Nov 11, 2020 • 6 min read

How to Become a Problem Solver

Ever find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to do next? Do you tend to panic when things go wrong? No worries, JobGet is here to help you! There are only a few steps you need to learn in order to be an effective and efficient problem solver. Follow these steps, and you’ll become a more marketable applicant! 

problem solver

Identify

What is going wrong? You want to figure out what the problem is so that you can take the next steps. Ask people around what exactly is happening. Details are important, so make sure that all the information you get is accurate. Once you’ve collected all the information, you can now move on to the next step.

Neutralize

Now that you know what the problem is, try your best to calm everyone down. Tell them that you are going to help figure out a solution. If you get people to trust that you know what you are doing, you’ll be able to build better work relationships. Ways you can neutralize situations is by taking in a calm voice, offering assurance, asking questions, and genuinely listening to what people have to say. Putting people at ease is key. Diffuse the situation so that it does not become hectic or hostile.

problem solver

Analyze

Why is this happening? Find out what is at the root of the problem and what is causing it. If you know where the problem is coming from, you can pinpoint exactly how to solve it. You most likely gathered this information when speaking to people who were initially involved with the problem. Pick apart how everyone is involved with the problem and who is contributing to the issue. Use your analyzing skills to scan the room and truly address the problem at hand. 

Brainstorm Solutions

Come up with multiple solutions for how to solve the problem. Even if it seems simple, think about all of the channels you need to go through to solve the problem. Do you need to talk directly to the person causing the problem? Do you need to reach out to management first? Is this a Human Resources issue in which you need to step away? Think about all of the possibilities and look at the problem from multiple different perspectives. Even if some of the solutions seem like a bad idea, you may be able to use a single element of it to help you out. 

problem solver

Choose a Solution

Now that you have a list of possible solutions, you’ll have to become somewhat of a utilitarian. You want to pick the option that follows the guidelines of your workplace and benefit the majority of people involved. This solution doesn’t have to fix the problem permanently, but it would be wonderful if it did. You may need to combine two different solutions to optimize the result that is desired. Remember, you want to solve the problem and make sure people are taken care of in the process. This way, no one is hurt in the process.

Implement

Put your solution into effect! Whatever you need to do to solve this issue, it is important to begin right away. This could mean talking to everyone in the group about what they should do next, reporting someone to Human Resources, etc. There are many avenues that you will have considered in choosing your solution. At this point, people will likely ask what is being done about the problem. So, you can tell them what you intend to do or the next steps you have planned to take action.

problem solver

 Follow Up

Once the solution has been implemented, hopefully, the problem will have been resolved. Check-in with the people who were involved with the problem and ask how things are going. They may tell you details about how the implementation worked or didn’t work. You can consider their feedback on how to be a better problem solver in the future. If they tell you that the problem has not been solved, tell them some other solutions that could be implemented now. Ensure that everyone is happy with the outcome so you can tell if your solution was a success.

 Reflect

Look back at your actions and see what worked! You’ve received criticism from the people that you have talked to in the follow-up. Now, look at yourself. Being a problem solver is all about being effective and efficient when finding a solution that will make all parties happy. What could you have done better? What would you have done differently? How will you act if this problem was to present itself again? Take notes on what to do next time. Reflection is a great tool to improve your problem-solving skills.

problem solver

Be Confident

Being a problem solver can be easy if you narrow it down to these eight steps. Identify, neutralize, analyze, brainstorm, choose, implement, follow up, and reflect. As long as you follow these steps, you will become an astounding problem solver and have the respect of your colleagues. Not only that, but you will also continue to grow and discover new and more effective ways to solve problems as you go. Next time you come across an issue, just remember these tools!

More to Explore: 

Supporting Friends Who Are Unhappy at Work – Here

How to Advance Your Career – Here

How to Decompress After Work – Here

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