Effective communication towards problem solving happens because of a leader’s ability to facilitate an open dialogue between people who trust her intentions and feel that they are in a safe environment to share why they believe the problem happened as well as specific solutions.
Once all voices have been heard and all points of view accounted for, the leader (with her team) can collectively map-out a path toward a viable and sustainable solution.
As such, they never see the totality of what the problem represents; that it can actually serve as an enabler to improve existing best practices, protocols and standard operating procedures for growing and competing in the marketplace.
They never realize that, in the end, all problems are the same – just packaged differently.
As fundamental as communication may sound, don’t ever assume that people are comfortable sharing what they really think.
This is where a leader must trust herself and her intuition enough to challenge the team until accountability can be fairly enforced and a solution can been reached.A leader must never view a problem as a distraction, but rather as a strategic enabler for continuous improvement and opportunities previously unseen.When I launched my first venture in the food industry, we had a problem with the adhesion of the labels to the glass jar packaging of our products that affected nearly 20% of an initial shipment.It becomes less about corporate politicking and more about finding resolutions and making the organization stronger.3. Open-minded People Breaking down silos and communication barriers requires people to be open-minded. In the end, problem solving is about people working together to make the organization and the people it serves better.But the reality of the workplace finds us dealing with people that complicate matters with their corporate politicking, self-promotion, power-plays and ploys, and envy.Silos, lack of budgets and resources, and many other random acts or circumstances also make it harder for people to be productive.In a workplace where silos exist, problem solving is more difficult because you are more likely dealing with self-promoters – rather than team players fostered by a cross functional environment.. When you operate in a siloed environment where everyone wants to be a star, it becomes increasingly difficult to help make anything or anyone better. As circumstances would have it, this was the first shipment to a new client that was “testing” our new products in 200 stores with an opportunity to expand our distribution to over 2500 stores nationally. Instead of panicking, we took a problem solving approach that involved multiple steps and resulted in a full-blown change management effort with our label supplier, manufacturer, trucking company and client.