How To Become A Successful Problem Solver

Problems crop up all the time. They’re opportunities and tests of your strength, will, and ability to solve them. There’s a tendency to freak out when you become aware of a problem. Especially if you’re the one accountable for it, but don’t. We’re equipped to deal with problems every single day, from friends and family to work problems, it’s how you solve them that counts.

Successful people encounter problems more often than most, but they try to be innovative and detached from the problem in order to solve it.

Think about a company like Apple, their problems might be in a product not selling as well, or a glitch in technology. Often the way they solve the problem involved lots of forward-thinking and they end up with a revolutionary solution. Problems pop up every single day, think back to the last big problem you had to face. You probably have a horror story or two about a problem that messed things up for you or something you tried to solve but couldn’t. But don’t worry, successful people encounter huge problems every day – and they manage to solve them with a cool head.

1. Seek

Often a problem cannot be solved if you can’t find the root of its cause. Successful people will find the time to evaluate the problem from different angles and think about a problem until they can find out what might be causing it.

If it isn’t an easy problem with a fix, but a broader problem that has many possible causes, a successful person will take time exploring every avenue and consider the heart of the problem before they move on to attempt to fix it. If you find yourself presented with a problem, don’t rush to the fix, because although it might give you fast results, it might not help you understand the problem completely and stop it from occurring again. It’s sort of like using a bucket to bail out a sinking boat. The more you throw overboard, the more the boat fills up. Start first by thinking about the problem in a logical way.

2. Search

Successful people might already think they know the solution, but before they rush to fix it, they will research ways to approach the problem in a different way. Perhaps you will find a better way to solve the problem or stop it from occurring in the future. You can use a tool like Quora to see if anyone else is facing the problem that you’re trying to solve, and even if you think you know the quick fix, it’s better to find out if it’s a common problem, if others used a different solution, or if there’s a cause you might not have thought of.

If it’s a problem at work based on human error or a problem within the team, treat it exactly the same, there might be a better way to solve it that prevents it from happening again.

3. Solve

Solve, or try to solve the problem. Successful people will do this themselves rather than ask for outside help. If they need to design a website, for example, they’d rather learn how to do it so they can perhaps outsource it but know exactly what they need. This way they ensure that they’re not paying for something they can do themselves for a fraction of the price, but also, that they can share the knowledge with others and use it to become a leader.

4. Share

Which leads us to the next step. A successfully solved problem is an opportunity. Leaders will share the knowledge with their employees, successful people can also leverage their knowledge to make more money, becoming an expert and using this knowledge to add to their skillset.

So the next time you come up against a problem, you’ll know how to solve it in a way that turns it into a personal success!

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Featured photo: Ralph Lauren

Beth Macdonald

Managing Editor

I'm the Managing Editor of CGD. I'm a graduate of the Penguin Writer's Academy and have published a short story. I specialize in copywriting, digital marketing, and research.

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