Problem Solving

Problem Solving

One of the biggest challenges new leaders face is the sudden pressure of being the main port of call for workplace problems. They no longer have the back-up of passing issues up the chain to be solved by someone more senior. The responsibility suddenly falls on them to find effective solutions and make decisions quickly.

If they do this well it builds confidence and improves your organisation, but, if they procrastinate or do this badly it damages confidence, undermines reputations and can have a significant impact on business results.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them”

Albert Einstein

So, how do we build our future leaders to effectively solve workplace problems?

We suggest you:

  • Empower your leaders
  • Have a defined, commonly understood problem-solving framework
  • Encourage root cause analysis
  • Develop support networks
  • Support learning from mistakes

Empower your leaders

Sometimes problems come up for your leaders, which you know how to solve. Resist the urge. Even though they may still be growing in confidence, stepping in to solve their problems will undermine their leadership role and hinder their growth as a leader. Take a step back, take a coaching approach and encourage your leaders to come to you with solutions, not problems.

Use a defined, commonly understood problem-solving framework

Making decisions when problems arise can be stressful for new leaders. Introducing a problem-solving framework into your organisation encourages your leaders to feel confident that they will solve problems effectively and reach the right solution. Having a framework which the whole business understands encourages the practice, allows for a common understanding when solving cross functional problems, and gives you a better chance of reaching the right solution.

Encourage root cause analysis

Sometimes you need to do a quick fix – and that’s fine. Business must continue, products must go out and time is money! But…..if your leaders don’t double back, establish root cause and put a solution in place which stops the problem re-occurring they will end up in continuous firefighting mode. Not good for your business, and not good for them.

Develop support networks

Usually when one of your leaders is solving a problem they need the help and support of other teams within the business. If this doesn’t come willingly it can undermine their effectiveness, confidence and how positive they feel about their role. Developing a culture and network of supportive teams is essential to good problem solving. Your leaders need to know who they can call on when they need expert input and feel confident they can trust the advice they receive.

Support learning from mistakes

Despite the best, most robust problem-solving process in place, mistakes do still happen. Using these as learning opportunities helps your leaders to accept their mistakes, look forward and become better at what they do.

Problem solving is an often overlooked, but essential leadership skill. The ability to do this well can transform your organization and keep it continuously moving forward.

We can help to ensure your Leaders have the skill and confidence to be expert problem solvers. To find out more you can check out our website here or contact us at 09-455-1077.

Following these guidelines will help you and your team members smooth over and resolve any differences of opinion. Keen to learn more? Positive People run a Problem Solving & Decision Making module as part of our popular Leadership Development Program. Contact us today atinfo@positivepeople.co.nz or 09 445 1077 to discuss our group or individual training, coaching and development solutions.

Motivation

Motivation:

Making sure you and your team are goal focused, driven and successful.

Pretty much anyone can issue instructions and somehow get the job done.

But what is the quality like? How quickly is the job done? Does the team work together? How innovative is the team? How focused on the customer are they? Is the job delivered on time? What is the service like?

What good leaders are looking for is their team actually WANTING to do the job. And this is the mantra that stands at the core of motivation – WANTING TO rather than having to. It is about commitment, not compliance. Take a look at the individuals in your team. Who is committed? Who is just going through the motions?

“You cannot motivate anyone. You can only provide the environment where your team members motivate themselves.”

When people want to do something they can overcome the biggest of hurdles to achieve their goals.

Often people with loads of experience, knowledge and talent just fall by the wayside because they don’t have the passion to achieve things – they lack that critical WANT TO factor.

How do you ignite their passion?

There are two elements to this.

  1. Developing an understanding of each person in your team. This means there is a need to establish which buttons you need to push for each person. And each person’s motivational buttons are different, so it takes time and insight to work out what makes a person tick. This understanding allows you to temper and fine-tune your natural approach so your communication resonates with each person. People instinctively understand, appreciate and “get” that you “get” them. This individual awareness allows you to develop and grow a special relationship with each of your different team members. This means that you connect to each person and this is a strong contributor to their commitment.
  2. Creating a workplace environment that allows everyone to be their best. This requires the development of an organisational culture that is conducive to people pushing forward for both individual and organisational success because it feels good to do so.

This kind of environment is usually principled, supportive, challenging, exciting, and collaborative.

Add to these two key motivational factors an appreciation of what the organisation is trying to achieve, coupled with a clear understanding of the expectations attached to their role, and you will have motivated team members committed to succeed.

While the motivation of each individual is in their own hands, the set-up for this motivation is very much in the hands of the management.

Following these guidelines should help you and your team members ride the crest of a wave with enthusiasm and success. To find out more you can check out our website here or contact us at 09-455-1077.

Keen to learn more? Positive People run a Motivation module as part of our popular Leadership Development Program. Contact us today at info@positivepeople.co.nz or 09 445 1077 to discuss our group or individual training, coaching and development solutions.

Managing Conflict at Work

Conflict Management:

Everyone experiences conflict – in life and at work.

Why? Because different people are always going to have different points of view and different needs, wants and values.

Differences of opinion are natural and usually need to be openly addressed to avoid tension.

So, what should we do when conflict or differences of opinion arise?

  • Deal with the issue before the situation escalates
  • Talk directly to person(s) concerned
  • Work with people to try and resolve the issue
  • If someone approaches you with an issue, be prepared to confront and work on it
  • Where appropriate, if someone complains to you about another person, encourage them to talk directly to the person involved. Give them the tools to do this through a coaching discussion.

Before you meet with the person

  • Identify the real issue, not just the symptoms/emotions
  • Be prepared to work toward agreeable solutions, not just towards “winning” (or one party winning)
  • Remember that it is not unusual to disagree and that people are quite entitled to do so. You can still find a solution and resolve the conflict.

During the discussion

  • Look at the issue through another ‘lens’ or point of view
  •  Be willing to “own” part of the problem
  • Establish a common goal (a solution) and stay focused on it
  • Define the problem and establish solid facts (yours and theirs)
  • Identify common ground
  • Agree on a common goal
  • Explore all possible solutions and select the solutions that will best meet the needs of both parties
  • Decide on a course of action
  • Summarise the agreed course of action back to ensure that the needs have been met

It is also important to manage the post-conflict situation. Don’t leave it and pretend that it didn’t happen. Follow-up is essential. This may involve checking in to see how the person is feeling and monitoring the situation to ensure agreed actions have actually happened. Then when the matter is truly resolved, it’s time to put it to rest and move on.

We can help to equip your leaders to manage conflict effectively. To find out more you can check out our website at here or contact us at 09-455-1077.

Following these guidelines will help you and your team members smooth over and resolve any differences of opinion. Keen to learn more? Positive People run a Conflict Management module as part of our popular Leadership Development Program. Contact us today at info@positivepeople.co.nz or 09 445 1077 to discuss our group or individual training, coaching and development solutions.