The Most Effective Ways Leaders Solve Problems
Every road to success is full of unexpected obstacles. What determines whether the team will bend under pressure or pass the obstacle is a good leader. A leader motivates the team, and makes sure the team is prepared for any obstacle that might come along the way.
What differs good and effective leaders from those who end up with failed ideas, is the way they solve problems and how they lead their team members through the complicated situation.
“To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, We did it ourselves!” – Lao Tzu
An ancient Chinese philosopher and writer described what a true leader really is. It’s not a person who hides when obstacles occur, or takes all the credit for the company’s success. It’s the person who walks with his team members. A person who is there to listen, teach and lead.
And every great leader is a great problem-solver. Everyone has their own strategies when it comes to solving various problems, however, there are some ways that never change. We won’t give you a personalized solution for the problems you might be experiencing, but we’ll share what we’ve learned over the years from the great leaders we had the honor of working with – and that is how to face each problem prepared, and how to overcome them easier.
We’ve talked about transparency on numerous occasions. It’s the most important thing in any team. Everything comes from transparency – trust, productivity, success. With that being said, it’s not a surprise that this is one of the most effective way to solve any problem.
Of course, transparency comes at the very begning. You should not wait for the problem to occur and then start sharing information with your team members. Always be open and transparent. Every information that you have, and that could affect the team should be announced to your team memebers.
This way, you’ll gain their trust and have valuable and loyal employees. On the other hand, when there is a problem, they’ll be sure you are telling them everything they need to know, and they won’t be afraid to come to you with different ideas on how to surpass the obstacle.
On the other hand, when they have a problem, they’ll know they can always come to you and ask for advice. Transparency – definitely the most important thing in any team.
Stop the Finger-Pointing
A true cliche “There is no I in team” is completely true. A team is a team, it’s a group of individuals working together as one in order to accomplish the same goal. It’s not just a group of people sitting together in one room, where everyone is working for themselves.
“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.” – Tina Fey
Teach your team to work together. Be a good leader, and lead by example. Show them that you’ll all together, and that whatever happens, you’ll go through it together.
When a problem occurs, don’t point fingers and blame a team member for the problem. It’s okay to teach everyone that they should take responsibility, but when something happens work together in order to solve it. Blaming someone for a problem won’t solve anything. The only way to solve a problem is to work together. Everyone can make a mistake. What happened to a team member can happen to you. Just think how you would want people to treat you if you made a mistake. You would want them to understand and help you solve the issue.
It does not matter how big the problem is, always think positive. If a crisis occurs and you look at it negatively, there is no way you’ll find a solution. Motivate your team, have a positive perspective and transfer this energy to your team members.
When your team members see that you have hope and that you’re working hard in order to solve the problem, everyone will be motivated.
Nobody likes working in a company where there is only negative energy. Think positive, and teach everyone in your team to do the same. Only when you work together, and with a positive attitude can you achieve results.
“A positive attitude may not solve every problem, but it makes solving any problem a more pleasant experience.” -Grant Fairley
The worst thing you can do when a problem occurs is lock yourself in your office, and try and figure out the solution by yourself. If you have an idea how to solve the problem, great! Share your idea with the team, and let other people share what they think. You never know what might happen.
If someone suggest a solution you don’t agree with, think about it and ask others what they think about it. Even though this is not something you would think of, it just might work. Keep an open mind. Listen to everyone, and respect everyone’s opinion.
Sometimes the best things happen when you least expect them. Same goes with solutions. Give everyone a chance to share their ideas and you never know what might come out of it. Maybe the wildest idea actually solves the problem. Be open minded, always.
If you do not keep track of everything that is happening, and the results your achieving, then it’s all for nothing. How will you know what works best for your team if you don’t monitor it?
Be professional, and make sure everything is well documented. Not only will this help you find a solution for other problems in the future much faster and easier, but you’ll also be able to make sure the same mistakes do not occur.
When a crisis occurs, go through everything that happened and find what went wrong. By doing this, you’ll make sure next time everyone is aware of what went wrong earlier so the same situation does not repeat.
You should always document results, whether they are negative or positive. From each result you can learn something, and improve the way your company is running.
Every great leader knows that mistakes happen. It’s not the end of the world. With a positive mind and a great team, everything can be resolved. It will take time and a lot of hard work but it can be done. Just follow the tips we’ve shared above, and you’re destined to find a solution for every problem that might come along the way.
And most importantly, never focus only on the problem at hand, but on the solution. If keep going back, and only thinking about the problem, you won’t be able to go forward and find the solution. Identify the problem, but move past it.
“I truly believe there’s always a solution to every problem.” Maira Kalman