In a working environment, misunderstandings and problems are prone to happen. As an effective leader, how you tackle or react to them will make a huge difference to the people you lead and your leadership skills in general.
Being an effective leader includes the ability to face, attend to, and properly solve problems. Problems include business-related issues or co-workers’ misunderstandings.
In this article, we are going to list down some characteristics of an effective leader in problem-solving.
Is this my problem?
Some of the problems that occur at work aren’t really any staff member’s fault. They might simply be accidents. For example, power outages at work. This is not anyone’s fault! So, as a leader, learn to surrender. At times you fail to avoid a problem, so start focusing on the solutions to the problem rather. If it’s an issue that can be avoided, then simply work to avoid it.
Asks lots of questions.
Asking questions is a strategy that can help you determine the root of the problem. Don’t give solutions to a problem that you have shallow information about. Asking a lot of questions will help you allocate the appropriate time and resources to the problem.
When solving any problem, transparent communication is key. Involve everyone and treat each point, suggestion, and idea as important as possible. A group will come up with a more solid solution, than you as the leader trying to bring solutions on your own. Transparent communication also helps you get to the root of the problem easily.
Don’t point fingers.
As an effective leader, avoid pointing fingers on a staff member without any solid information on the problem at hand. Putting blame on someone only places them in a defensive mode. While employees try to defend themselves, time is also being wasted. If it’s clear that a problem is someone’s fault, grab that chance to teach the person. Let them own the mistake, learn from the mistake, and then go ahead to provide a solution for it.
Have a wide future view.
Don’t put too much attention on minor issues. This doesn’t mean you leave problems unattended, but rather, think of how the problem will affect your business in the future. Be quick to solving the minor issues that might grow in the future. Like the 20/80 rule where you solve the 20% of the problems that may cause 80% of your problems.
Try as much, as an effective leader, to fix a problem before it breaks. Be aware of early warning signs in your business, and you’ll realize you have avoided most problems in the future.
Assign leadership roles
Regardless of how big or small your business is, it is important to assign some leadership roles to members of your teams/departments that you can trust. This helps ease the bulk of having to solve minor issues so you can focus on other serious matters regarding your business.
Trying to solve every problem may cause you major distractions or even lead to burning out or depression. Let your delegated leaders bring to your attention any drastic matters that need your attention.
check our article on Importance of a leadership philosophy to help you navigate through leadership growth and skills.