Debs Taylor HayhurstThey say a problem shared is a problem halved and that we should write down our problems, break them down and then they won’t be so bad.

Some say success is about being a confident person; one who can solve problems! Therefore, being a confident problem solver is likely to be an important part of your success.

In our roles as business owners we could all say we ‘help’ people, and in one way or another whether providing a service or a product we do help people.

To enable us to help people we enable them to solve a problem or fix something for them that isn’t working. This makes us all problem solvers.

Being a good problem solver gives us confidence and can be the catalyst in creating a successful business.

We may not only be a problem solver for our clients or customers, but we may also be problem solvers for our teams, our peers, our work colleagues – our ‘internal’ clients.

To enable us to be an effective problem solver we need to have some key skills, qualities and traits.

Here are some examples of key attributes required to be a great problem solver:

  1. Interpersonal skills – we need to be intuitive and perceptive, tuned in to another person’s feelings, to be able to ‘read’ them enabling us to be empathetic

  2. Creative skills – we need to be able to think outside the square, see the bigger picture, offering ideas and suggestions to help the person

  3. Decision maker – we need to be able to formulate the ideas into a solution, decide on what steps to take to solve the problem

How might we go about solving the problem using the skills above?

  1. We need to understand what the problem is, be able to tease out the route cause, the source, and to be able to see the problem through their eyes

  2. We need to be able to consider some options the person could take to develop a strategy, devising steps they could take to achieve their plan

  3. We may need to support or mentor the person to carry out their plan, asking them in what way we can best help them in solving their problem

  4. We then need to stand back, be objective, consider the plan, further check the steps in the plan ensuring all bases are covered

Whether we use the attributes and steps above to help us be more successful in problem-solving, or whether we use these to develop our own problem-solving skills, we can review our level of success to further revise our own strategies.