What are Good Problem Solving Skills? 

problem solving

Good problem solving skills involve the ability to handle difficult situations and challenges in the workplace. An essential leadership skill is being able to assess situations and calmly identify solutions. Problem solving skills allow you to achieve this. 

The ability to problem solve can often seem to come naturally to some people. However, there are other skills which assist this ability. The following tips will help you develop good problem solving skills:

Active listening

By taking time to listen to the views of others we can understand so much more about what is happening around us. The purpose of listening should be to understand the viewpoint of someone else and not just to give your own reply.

Analysis

In order to solve a problem, you first need to understand it. By analysing the situation you will develop a deeper appreciation of what needs to change. Analysing the current order of things provides the foundation for problem solving.

Research

There’s no reason to recreate the wheel. If someone has already solved a problem and done it well, adopt a similar approach. Look into how they handled the problem, how did they approach it, how could you apply the same problem solving skills to your situation?

Creativity

Creative thinking encourages you to change this pattern and look at your decisions in a new way. This allows a fresh perspective on ways to solve problems and solve challenges.

Communication

Strong written and verbal communication skills will help paint a picture of what is happening and what needs to change.and engage others.

Dependability

Team members will naturally look to their manager for cues. As project manager having a dependable approach provides security when dealing with a problem. 

Decision making

Actually being able to make a firm decision is an essential factor in good problem solving. This doesn’t come easily to everyone. But, being confident, clear and direct in decisions avoid confusion and frustration. 

Team building

A problem shared is a problem halved! Having a motivated and engaged team creates healthy relationships and develop trust which enables people to work together effectively o solve problems. 

How to improve problem solving skills

Gain a good knowledge of your field

The more you know about your role and responsibilities in work, the more associated problems you will be able to resolve. 

Actively look for opportunities to problem solve

Put yourself in new situations and volunteer for projects and activities outside of your usual role. Seeking new challenges and different ways of working will strengthen your problem solving abilities. 

Observe others when they problem solve

Watch how they communicate and the processes they go through. Ask relevant questions and listen carefully to the advice you are given.

Solving problems is an essential skills which is highly valued by organisations. For this reason, problem solving abilities are often discussed and tested when organisations recruit new staff. They are not just useful for your employer, having strong problem solving skills can benefit your career and daily life. Problems are unavoidable and will often arise one way or another. Having the ability to use initiative and find solutions could prove to be your most valuable skill. 

Training 

Engage in Learning provide Decision Making Pathway courses which will help you develop creative thinking and problem solving skills. The Solving Problems: Definition to Options course will teach you how to work with the team to identify where you want to be, where you are and the root cause of the problem. 

Our Solving Problems: Definition to Options course can be found here