Tips to becoming a valuable problem solver

problem solver

Are you a good problem solver?

We face problems every day. In life or at work.

It’s common that we have insufficient time to solve all. Particularly without sufficient experience.

And when problems escalate, many of us tend to take shortcuts to assuage the problems, temporarily.

Since, doing so means we can move on to the next problems quickly—ticking off on more from the list.

Hence, leaving behind the root of each problem, having them brewing and awaiting the right time to explode.

Eventually, everything turns out to be a never-ending cycle.

If this sounds familiar, it’s not just you.

Most superiors are in the same predicaments. Unless there are ace subordinates whom they can rely on.

If you wish to be valued at the workplace, try bringing solutions to your boss, rather than bringing problems.

They already have too many problems to solve.

So instead of introducing a new problem, be a problem solver.

This is how your value will increase not just for the company, but your boss too. Successful boss means a happy boss and a better working environment. Consequently, you will excel better at work too.

Eventually, they will support you in any projects you wish to do.

To make that happen, here are a few tips to becoming a highly valuable problem solver not just to the boss, but your team too.

Steps to becoming a highly valuable problem solver

How to Communicate with Your Boss Effectively

Open communication is essential for an effective problem solver.

It basically involves the free expression of everyone’s perspectives and concerns.

When you don’t speak up at the right time, it becomes a lot more difficult for your boss to get to the core of the problem.

Even if your boss hesitates to speak up about the problem for some reason, and you know that you can help them in some way, start communicating.

Make them believe that they can trust you. That your intentions are good, and they are safe to share their points of view about why the problem emerges in the first place.

Once you discuss the issue together, frame a path toward the feasible solution.

Take Control

One of the easiest yet effective ways to help your boss solve a problem is to give them the direction.

Inform them what needs to be done, precisely. Above all, take control to put the plan into action.

However, for this to go smoothly, you need to put the right words in your mouth.

For instance, try saying:

I’ve observed that the ABC issue keeps arising on our team and a solution is yet to be found. I know you’re concerned, but are too busy to take the necessary steps. So unless you have a different approach, my plan to handle it would be following the steps X, Y and Z. And is there anyone else you need involved in solving this?”

After all, someone has to step forward and tell others, including the bosses, exactly what should be done to solve a problem.

Of course, your boss may rebut, saying, “But I have a different idea!”

Well, at least you are progressing towards finding a solution, rather than hiding out.

Be a Positive Influence

To be an effective problem solver, you need to work with your team, for which you should first get along with them.

  • There is always one team member who,
  • works to make things easier for others in the team.
  • supports other individuals’ success,
  • looks for ways to work with others to complete tasks, and
  • doesn’t create tension.

These are qualities that any boss will appreciate.

Try to be that person in your team that demonstrates to your boss that you are a good individual to have around.

That you are a positive influence on the team, and capable of performing and achieving more.

This is one way to become an excellent problem solver.

That’s because your boss will not have to spend efforts and time dealing with the difficulties in the team as much.

They need to focus on something more important like strategic planning and tactical moves. So be the problem solver to alleviate their pains.

Give Away the Credit

Many leaders or bosses usually tend to ignore viable solutions to problems simply because they want it to be their idea.

One fundamental quality of a good problem solver is they find joy in solving a problem.

So, as an effective problem solver, be ready to happily give away the credit of problem-solving to your boss if you think it will help move the team forward.

Don’t be concerned about not receiving the credit or recognition; in a workplace, there are always new problems to be solved.

Be the best problem solver, make the life of your boss easier

This is perhaps the last, but the best, thing you can do.

Most bosses get a feeling that their employees are fixated only on their own success and careers.

As an employee, start thinking about ways to support your boss in solving a problem and achieving success and offer to do the same.

Get to your boss with simple suggestions that can help them save time.

And of course, also think about the bigger problems and come up with effective approaches that enable you to get things done together.

It is this support of yours which will make your boss want to support you.

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Amos Tay

Amos Tay

Amos Tay is the Senior Partner of Hatch Asia. He is a Gallup-Certified CliftonStrength Coach and lead our executive search, coaching and expand our partnership development across the region.

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