Getting myself an aromatherapy massage regularly maintains my wellness and good health. The masseuse told me that she discovered several trapped air and water retention in my body. When she laid her hands on those parts filled with retention, it hurt me a lot. The masseuse persisted that she needs to break the trapped air and fluid to make my blood circulate better. The spa recommend me to come back more often for aromatherapy treatment and yes, I did follow their advice.
Come to think of the organization as a living system just like a person: organization can feel weak, it can get sick, it has problems to be solved, and it needs pampering too. So getting to the part that hurts you, is a process of facing your problem or organizational problem. That is why one has to re-visit the strategy and continue to improve the organizational performance. Problem solving is essential to leaders. The goal is to minimize the occurrence of problems – which means we must be courageous enough to be proactive and be resilient in our quest to create and sustain momentum for the organization and people we serve.
I believe that the best leaders are the best problem solvers. They have the patience to step back and see the big picture as they could see around, beneath and beyond the problem itself. The most effective leaders approach problems through a lens of opportunity. They never view a problem as a distraction, but rather as a strategic enabler for continuous improvement and opportunities previously unseen.
Let me share with you Glenn Llopis’ 4 Most Effective Ways Leaders Solve Problems:
1. Transparent Communication
Communication is a fundamental necessity. That is why when those involved in the problem would rather not express themselves – fearing they may threaten their job and/or expose their own or someone else’s wrong-doing – the problem solving process becomes a treasure hunt. Effective communication towards problem solving happens because of a leader’s ability to facilitate an open dialogue between people who trust her intentions and feel that they are in a safe environment to share why they believe the problem happened as well as specific solutions.
2. Break Down Silos
Organizational silos are the root cause of most workplace problems and are why many of them never get resolved. This is why today’s new workplace must embrace an entrepreneurial spirit where employees can freely navigate and cross-collaborate to connect the problem solving dots; where everyone can be a passionate explorer who knows their own workplace dot and its intersections. When you know your workplace dot, you have a much greater sense of your sphere of influence. This is almost impossible to gauge when you operate in silos that potentially keep you from having any influence at all. Breaking down silos allows a leader to more easily engage their employees to solve problems together.
3. Open-minded People
Open-minded people see beyond the obvious details before them and view risk as their best friend. They tackle problems head-on and get on with the business of driving growth and innovation. Close-minded employees turn things around to make it more about themselves and less about what is required to convert a problem into a new opportunity.
4. A Solid Foundational Strategy
A solid strategy must be implemented in order to solve any problem. Many leaders attempt to dissect a problem rather than identify the strategy for change that lies within the problem itself. Effective leaders that are comfortable with problem solving always know how to gather the right people, resources, budget and knowledge from past experiences. They inspire people to lift their game by making the problem solving process highly collaborative; for them, it’s an opportunity to bring people closer together. I’ve always believed that you don’t know the true potential and character of a person until you see the way they solve problems.
Effective leaders connect the dots and map-out a realistic plan of action in advance. They have a strategy that serves as the foundation for how the problem will be approached and managed. They anticipate the unexpected and utilize the strengths of their people to assure the strategy leads to a sustainable solution.
These valuable tips from Glenn Llopis are easily understood. You know that you have great leadership in your organization when problem solving becomes a seamless process that enables the people and the organization to grow and perform better. If problem solving creates chaos, you might have a leadership problem in your organization.
“All life is problem solving.” Karl Popper