April 23, 2014
Solving Problems Effectively
By: Brian Tracy
Your ability to communicate is the most important
skill you can develop to get on to the fast track in your career. Perhaps the most
important thing you do in business is to solve problems and make decisions, both
by yourself and with other people.
Use A Systematic Process
A major type of communication in the business organization
is meetings for problem solving and decision making. The key to effective problem
solving and decision making discussions, is for you to all go through the process
Define the Problem Clearly
Right at the beginning, you ask the question, "What
exactly is the problem?" Clarity of definition will resolve 50% of the issues before
they go any further.
Focus on the Future
When discussing a problem, be sure to focus on the
future over the past. Ask the question, "Where do we go from here?” “What do we
do from here?” “What are our options for the future?" Too many problem-solving discussions
end up focusing all of the attention of all the people present on what happened
in the past and who is to blame. The effective executive uses this type of communication
to focus on where the company and the individuals are going, and what can happen
in the future - the only part of the equation over which anyone has any control.
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Talk About the Solutions
A second element in effective problem solving communications,
is for you to talk about the solutions instead of talking about the problems. It
is for you to keep the attention of the individuals in the meeting focused on the
possible solutions and what can be done rather than what has already happened.
The discussion of solutions is inherently positive,
uplifting and has a tendency to release creativity amongst the group. A discussion
of problems is inherently negative, demotivating and tends to inhibit creativity.
The Key to Positive Thinking
You can become a positive thinker simply by becoming
a solution-oriented person rather than a problem-oriented person. If you get everyone
in your organization thinking and talking in terms of solutions, you will be astonished
at the quality and quantity of ideas that will emerge.
Now, here are two things you can immediately to become
a better problem solver and decision maker.
First, take some time to be absolutely clear about the problem that is under discussion.
Give some thought to what an ideal decision or solution would accomplish. Instead
of focusing on the situation as it is, talk about the situation as you would like
it to be.
Second, keep the conversation focused on solutions, on what can be done in the future.
The more you think and talk about solutions, the more positive and creative everyone
will be and the better ideas you will come up with.
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Whether you're an Executive, Manager, Business Owner, Educator or Salesperson, your ability to communicate effectively will account for 85% of your success in business and in life. Join Brian in his office for an intensive 3-day workshop. He'll teach you how to increase your self-confidence, be more persuasive and influential with any audience, and share your special talents and experience with others. Limited to 12 people! Learn More Here
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