Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to DrTony@Assessments24x7.com!

Problem Solving

What is it?

Problem solving is the ability to effectively face and overcome any problem an entrepreneur may encounter. Problem solving particularly applies to problems that the entrepreneur has not previously encountered. This skill allows the entrepreneur to creatively approach problems with an open mind and contributes to the resolution.

Why is it important?

Entrepreneurs generally have a plan regarding the implementation of their business strategies. Regardless of the detail of the plan that the entrepreneur creates, he or she will undoubtedly encounter problems along the way. The ability to solve these problems is essential if the entrepreneur wishes to find success in business.

Learning to utilize effective problem solving skills will allow the entrepreneur to avoid discouragement and frustration associated with the inability to overcome challenges. The ability to solve problems creates confidence in the entrepreneur and better prepares him or her to overcome future problems. Effective problem solving also creates opportunities for the entrepreneur to build and strengthen his or her company. An entrepreneur should learn respond to problems with enthusiasm and eagerness.

How to get it if you don't have it?

The ability to effectively solve problems actually requires three basic processes. By identifying the processes, you will be able to begin to solve problems that seem insurmountable. The first process you should begin with is information gathering. When facing a critical problem, the more information you have, the better your decisions tend to be. The second process you will utilize in problem solving is the ability to break the problems down. Thus, create a list of the smaller tasks that must be completed to overcome the problem. As you begin to practice this skill, this process may take time to complete. This time will be well served, as you will be able to avoid frustration and discouragement that may accompany the inability to solve complex problems. The final process you will undertake is the classifications of tasks. Once you have a list of the tasks that must be completed, identify the tasks that you feel most comfortable with. You will begin with these tasks. This process allows you to create a starting point for problem resolution.

How to develop it if you have it?

Problem solving is a skill that requires continual practice. This skill will atrophy if left unused. Practice your problem solving skills everyday. Search out problems that will test your abilities. Keep a record of the lessons you learn. Utilize others around you to find different ways to overcome routine problems. Your ability to be creative is a very beneficial attribute to overcome any problem.

 

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This article was adapted, with permission, from the One Minute Entrepreneur book, co-authored by my colleagues and friends, Ken Blanchard and Don Hutson with Ethan Willis. Please visit this site for details about the One Minute Entrepreneur book and be sure to take your complimentary One Minute Entrepreneur Assessment too.
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