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Bryan Mattimore is Co-Founder of Growth Engine, an 18-year old innovation agency based in Norwalk, CT.
Along the way, experts weigh in on the importance of problem solving, and offer tips and tricks.
Problem solving is the process of working through every aspect of an issue or challenge to reach a solution.
We got them to redefine the challenge as first: a) inventing new anti-wrinkle devices, and then b) inventing new garment care devices.” To understand the necessary skills in problem solving, you should first understand the types of thinking often associated with strong decision making.
Most problem solving techniques look for a balance between the following binaries: However, many of the most critical problem solving skills are “soft” skills: personal and interpersonal understanding, intuitiveness, and strong listening.
“Problems and conflicts occur in all groups and teams in the workplace, but if leaders involve everyone in working through, they will foster cohesion, engagement, and buy in.
Everybody wins.” Although problem solving techniques vary procedurally, experts agree that the first step in solving a problem is defining the problem.
“As a facilitator it is essential to allow for diverse ideas to emerge, be able to synthesize and ‘translate’ other people’s thinking, and build an extensive network of available resources.”Mac Leod says the following interpersonal skills are necessary to effectively facilitate group problem solving: “The abilities to invite participation (hear all voices, encourage silent members), not take sides, manage dynamics between the monopolizer, the scapegoat, and the bully, and deal with conflict (not avoiding it or shutting down).” Furthermore, Jaffa explains that the skills of a strong problem solver aren’t measurable.
The best way to become a creative problem solver, he says, is to do regular creative exercises that keep you sharp and force you to think outside the box.
Creativity is embedded in this process by incorporating diverse inputs and/or new ways of organizing the information received.”Laura Mac Leod is a Professor of Social Group Work at City University of New York, and the creator of From The Inside Out Project®, a program that coaches managers in team leadership for a variety of workplaces.
She has a background in social work and over two decades of experience as a union worker, and currently leads talks on conflict resolution, problem solving, and listening skills at conferences across the country.