Saturday, May 7, 2011

Problem Solving Skills for a Leader

Everyday we are confronted by problems. Big or small, personal or work related problems. If you are a leader or hold a supervisory position, problem solving skills is one of the requirements of a good leader.  In order to derive on a solution and make decisions, there are series of orderly steps to be taken on  this cognitive process.

Solving the problem is a method of organizing the given information and using that information, along with knowledge you possess, to obtain the desired outcome or solution.

The problem must be recognized and identified. Some failed to solve a problem because first and foremost it is not being recognized as a problem. It should be acknowledged that there is a problem that needs to be solved. To identify a problem is to isolate and focus only about it without relating to other problems.

Preliminary analysis and observations must be made. The problem must be studied with the collection of adequate data. The problem under study, should be divided into component parts so that each part maybe studied and explored carefully. Misinformation about the problem may lead to a wrong solution.

Select possible solutions. It is the process of eliminating and simplifying data to narrow down into possible solutions. There can be many possibilities and probabilities, but you can start with the selection of one to three best choices only. We may draw choices from observations and past experiences with the same level of problem. Others may come from suggestions proposed by other people.

Compartmentalized components of each alternative solutions. Intensive study of solutions is necessary by identifying the advantages and benefits for each as well as the disadvantages if there is any. Testing should be done if necessary depending on the nature of the problem.

Formulate the best solution to the problem. After studying and weighing all the gathered information, formulate the solution. In some cases, the best solution is considered from the use of tradition. It is what had been experienced and practiced in the past, either by itself or from others experiences.

Implementation of the solution.  It is the execution of the solution to the problem.  Effective implementation requires close supervision to fully derived to the correct expected end result.
Evaluation of the problem and the derived solution. In every solution we make, it is either we are correct or failed to select the right solution. Revisions should be made or eliminate ineffective strategies. A leader should be able to dapt adequate methods and strategies on the next problems in the future.