Problems are our teachers in business and in life
Even a simple headache can lead to problems or even a significant crisis. Some people don’t like admitting they have problems and others don’t like hearing about it but eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment and know that everything happens for a reason. Remember, there are two types of pain in this world: pain that hurts you (physical) and pain that changes you.
Before you assume the causes of the problems learn about them, before you make a judgement understand them, and before you say anything, think about it. It’s not the problems that will hold you back, it will be the way you think about it and react to it.
You all have problems and some of them will reach a crisis point. Following are some thoughts about becoming a better problem solver and crisis manager. Slow down, take the time to think, reflect and plan the best fix. Looking at problems, crisis and failures you should recognise you are all failures at some time and to some extent. How you recover is what’s important. The first thing to do is to analyse the problem properly. Don’t over-react by thinking it is one thing then discovering it’s actually something different.
As a bonus good problem solving gives you more peace of mind. It comes as a direct result of knowing you are in control and problems are bring solved.
Problems also create opportunities
The Chinese have long observed that moments of crisis are also moments of opportunity and you need to view problems that way and be prepared when they happen. The best way to fix your problems is to create the solutions.
It is only when faced with adversity you are forced to invent. It makes you stronger, smarter and more innovative. Your problems may be stressful but will often lead to opportunity. You might not create a billion-dollar business, but maybe you just might. You never know until you try and start by taking action.
Without problems forcing you into action, you will tend to stagnate in your comfort zones. Welcome problems, if the answer to your problem can help you, then they can help others and there lies an opportunity.
When faced with a problem, use it as an opportunity to learn from others and learn new skills.
To become better at problem solving, put in the time and energy
- Identify the problem, write it down being as specific as possible.
- Reflect on the opportunities the problem could introduce if it was solved.
- Take action on the opportunities and start leveraging the problem.
- Remember all great achievements require a little time.
- Opportunity follows problems and periods of struggle.
- Diminished problems follow effort and dedicated hard work.
- The only place you find success before work is in the dictionary.
Develop your ability to not only solve a problem and avoid a crisis but to turn that problem into an opportunity. You may not have the time to really think about the problems you have in your business, so write them down and do something with the list when time permits. It will help turn the problems into opportunities.
There’s a difference between fixing a problem and turning it into a new opportunity. Failure to solve a problem and avoid a crisis doesn’t mean you are a failure, it just means you haven’t found the solution yet
Use the following to solve problems
Panic and stress will not help with the problems you may encounter, it will only lead to poor decision making. Instead take a deep breath, go for a walk, watch a movie, do anything that will help clear your mind. Once you can be dispassionate and review the problem with a clear head then you can decide how best to handle it.
If you’re going through hell, then keep going
But don’t be stuck there too long. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel that shines brightly on your future. Don’t be a loser.
Seek professional help
Seek the help of practical advisers with experience relating to the problems. They can provide objectivity and perspective, which can go a long way to solving the problems. A little expense can save a lot.
Don’t fear change
You may lose something good, but you may also gain something great, that you really wanted. Take the time to appreciate what you have and incorporate change. Perhaps you need to outsource the part of the business causing problems, http://goo.gl/on3Ahf
Prevent the problem occurring
The best ways to deal with a problem is to prevent it if you can. The sooner you act the smaller the problem is to fix. The longer you wait a more complex a problem becomes.
Learn something from the problem
Before you move on, take a look for the lessons to be learned. Learning is how you build your practical experience. Sometimes you simply create problems because you struggle too hard, http://goo.gl/F3gAQF
Reflect on the positives that could come from the problem
Imagine the growth that could take place if you focused on fixing the problem. Taking the problems that diminish value in your business and turn them into opportunities that add value.
Choose to be the driver, not the passenger
It’s your choice. Seek help but stay in control. Life isn’t measured by the breath you take but the moments that take your breath away.
Research can make all the difference
Knowledge is the key to solving most problems. The better informed you are about your problems, the more solutions you will be able to come up with. Seek practical information and knowledge for faster results.
No one is ever fully prepared for the problems in a business
The best way to cope with this is to become action orientated and become a good problem solver. Sometimes problems come out of the blue, such as a health crisis. Make sure you ensure against such surprises if you go down so may the business.
Winners never quit and quitters never win
There will be moments where you’ll want to turn back. But it’s essential to go on, even ‘baby steps’ one at a time. Don’t freeze up, just take the first step forward,
Keep taking small actions every day until the problem goes away. Wishing and hoping will not find the solution. Commit pen to paper, because your procrastinating nature welcomes the mind traffic.
Always be truthful and transparent
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember lies and you can get to the seat of the problem more quickly. Build a loyal team who are open, transparent, honest and with integrity so they are not contributing to the problem.
Reposition your business
Positioning your business for long-term success may require giving up short-term gains that don’t align with your purpose. Simply relocating your business or turning it into a lifestyle business can relieve many problems, http://goo.gl/nNQgi3
Strong communications skills will serve you well when it comes to solving problems, they can be a critical element in arriving at the solution.
Don’t make problems bigger than they really are
Focus your time and energy on what is really important. Small problems can be delegated or will go away if the big picture is right.
Set up an emergency fund
This could be crucial if you have a major crisis occur. Set up an insurance policy to cover accidents. sickness and loss of profits. You can’t run anything on an empty tank.
Everyone you meet has something to teach you
Never be afraid to talk about your problems, you may be surprised where the solutions will come from.
Stabilise your situation
The quicker you take control of the crisis and stop whatever damage it is doing, the sooner and crisis will be averted. Allocating tasks and setting deadlines will help.
Become action orientated
If you wait until you’re ready, or conditions are perfect, a small problem may turn into a crisis. Be quick to share the problem as a problem shared is a problem halved.
Engage the right people
When a problem arises you need to consider who you should engage to help you and who you need to advise. Don’t hold back, you don’t want people to think they are being left in the dark.
Learn how to manage stress
Any problem can cause excessive stress. If you can learn to cope with both eustress and distress, you will be better able to deal with a problem both physically and mentally. Healthy people equals a healthy business, http://goo.gl/6jmFb1
Lean on your values
Values that are not congruent can be at the heart of many problems. Have a good understanding of your own values and those of the people involved, before tackling relationship problems. Sometimes all you will have left are you good values to rebuild on.
Problems are more easily solved with time, energy and smile on your face.
A process for solving your problems
Make a list of the problems you want to be solved. Imagine what you could do if, in conjunction with your strategic planning, you and your team engaged in problem planning. Make a list of your company’s problems and decided to not only to solve them but to turn them into opportunities. You could receive some interesting surprises.
Keep in mind that your situation is unique. Just because someone else can’t solve the problem, it doesn’t mean you can’t. Don’t let little problems destroy your confidence. Don’t make your problems something you complain about, until there is a solution. Following is a problem-solving process. What you use it for will be determined by the complexity of the problem to be solved:
- Describe your problem in writing and in detail.
- Determine if it’s worth addressing.
- What would you like to see as an outcome? What does ‘better’ look like?
- Describe and understand the root cause of the problems.
- Look for the unintended consequences of tackling the problems.
- What behaviours will make this problem go away?
- Describe what behavioural change will produce the desired outcome?
- Describe possible solutions to the problem.
- Look for and describe possible opportunities that could arise?
- Choose the top four or five actions that you believe will solve the problem.
- How can you make progress?
- What actions do you need to take? If you are having trouble, seek help.
- Agree to engage in the behaviour that improves the situation.
- Monitor and evaluate your progress.
- Celebrate the successful solving of the problem and the opportunities it uncovered.
Lack of integrity creates problems
The word integrity is related to the word integer, a mathematical term for a whole number as opposed to a fraction. So when you walk in integrity, that means you tell the whole truth and not just a fraction of it. That’s why we take an oath in court. To tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help me, God”.
Why do we slant the truth, embellish it, and tell half-truths? Sometimes it’s for financial gain, other times it’s for social advantage. Sometimes it’s to hide our actions, other times it’s to avail ourselves of certain benefits. The truth is, integrity pays dividends every time.
“Your problems are a window into future opportunities, so don’t stress just work on them”. Peter Sergeant
“Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.” Vince Lombardi
“The integrity of the upright guides them”. Proverbs