January 14, 2016

The Providence of Overcoming Obstacles


Jeff Cochran


Almost every type of job needs effective problem solvers at the helm. Expert strategists are more independent, think critically, and are less likely to make mistakes once they have become accustomed to their role. A few traits great problem-solvers share include the following.

Seeing Problems as Growth Opportunities

Some of the best problem solvers are the people who keep a positive attitude. In difficult situations, this often manifests itself as a willingness to see the potential benefits of a problem which has arisen.

Those who see a difficult situation or time as a growth opportunity are not only better equipped to handle the crisis (as they are not bogged down by its gravity), they are people who use each situation to better prepare themselves for the next. People who think this way continually improve themselves as problem solvers and employees.

Working With Others to Tackle the Issue

Those who are willing to use every resource available to correct a situation are often the most successful in finding a solution. Many times, if a problem arises within a company, employees may be inclined to address it on their own. This can be due to a desire for credit or a lack of faith in their co-workers or organization.

Neither of these traits, however, are positive in the long run. Yes, it is nice to have a star employee. It is far better, however, to have a team consisting of solid people who rely on each other for the benefit of the organization. When assessing a problem, it is best to realize that though you may be perfectly competent, there is always someone whose expertise outshines your own in one area or another. Tapping into those resources is a sign of intelligence and strength.

Defining the Problem in a Clear and Reasonable Way

People who see a problem as an insurmountable obstacle or an excuse to generate gossip are rarely proactive about fixing the issue. Therefore, when confronted with a problem, the best course of action is always to view it in a logical and reasonable way. Maybe it shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Maybe someone dropped the ball. Focusing on things of that nature, though, only grows the issue. Great problem solvers can recognize a situation for what it is and keep their emotions out of the way while addressing it.

When looking at potential candidates for a position, analyze and question them on some of the most difficult problems they’ve faced professionally. If they mention working with others in the organization, remain calm and collected, and are willing to admit they