How to Become a Better Problem Solver at Work

Problems at work are always going to arise, even if everyone gets along and knows how to do their job. However, dealing with problems doesn’t have to cause strife, especially not if you know how to address them and move forward. These tips will help you to improve your problem-solving skills at work.

Deal With What You Know

When you’re solving a math problem, you need to assess the available information to help you figure out what the first steps are. Similarly, with a work problem, you need to assess your knowledge of the situation. According to InsideOut Development, the GROW model is all about making the right choices with what you already know. Broken down between goal, reality, options, and will, it lets you take a moment to get your thoughts together. It can keep you from making irrational decisions. Use this method for small problems, such as having to figure out how to perform a certain operation on a new printer, and keep at it in the event of a major problem.

Identify All Possible Solutions

Problems can have different solutions, but not all situations are made alike. One solution might benefit you, but it could also put coworkers in a bind. Another solution could end up putting so much stress on you that it’s going to cause more problems. According to Lean Decisions, write down all the feasible solutions, even ones that you know you won’t use. Then, go through and list the pros and cons of each one. This will let you quickly strike the worst solutions and focus on which of the good ones is the best. None of them might be perfect, but your evaluation can get you closer to that point.

Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

Most of us are afraid that trying and falling short is a super bad thing. But in many cases, it can be the opposite. If you deconstruct where the “fail” went, you can, in fact, use it to your advantage and take the lesson learned and revise the plan. No this doesn’t mean your team or supervisor, won’t have comments or tension around the fail. But if you get ahead of it and create a culture that looks at being engaged and taking failures as a win. It can change and support risk-taking for real growth.

Get Help

Trying to solve problems can keep you so focused on yourself that you forget about others and the solutions they could have. A coworker could drop a bit of wisdom even without you seeking out their advice specifically. They might also notice the problem and offer their opinion in hopes that you can put your heads together. Problems don’t have to start with one person, and they don’t have to end that way either.

If there weren’t any problems to solve, there wouldn’t be much motivation to improve. The positivity that comes from solving a problem can be fuel to keep going. When you become a better problem solver, you can also be a great help to your coworkers and bosses by showing that there are options beyond throwing their hands up in frustration.

Here’s another article you might like: How to Be Respected by Your Employees