Problem Solving Discussions

Your ability to communicate is the most important skill you can develop to get on to the fast track in your career.

Solve Problems and Make Decisions More Effectively in Discussions With Other People
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. A major reason for meetings in the business organization is problem solving and decision making. The key to effective problem solving and decision making discussions, is for you to all go through the process systematically.

Clarify the Problem
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

Think About 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.

Focus On the Solution
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, de-motivating and tends to inhibit creativity. 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.

Putting These Ideas Into Action
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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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

  • http://www.treasurestranslations.ca Suzanne Deliscar

    I like idea of brainstorming sessions where no idea, or “seeds” as some call them, are discounted until all possible ideas have been recorded and then tested for feasibility. A lot of time we spend focussing on the problem is not because we don’t have the solution, but because we are afraid of the solution not working. I know that personally, when I stop being afraid of problem solving and try one idea, it leads me to another, then another, then another, and finally, to the best solution. I learn all a lot going through each “idea” step.

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