14 June 2017

Running a business often involves coming up with great solutions to difficult circumstances

No business is without problems, big and small. In fact, it’s impossible to imagine a company that hasn’t gone through tough times, even those successful enterprises. Working as a Business Coach, most of the entrepreneurs I talk to tell me that it sometimes seems like they spend more time coming up with solutions and repairing damage than thinking about how to grow their business.

Problem solving can be intimidating because entrepreneurs often don’t have the experience to know what to do under difficult circumstances. The only way to really get better at solving a certain problem is after you’ve experienced it. However, there are certain behaviors and leadership skills that can help you get the right mindset and solve problems more effectively.

Maintain professionalism at all times

The best leaders never panic, even at times when it seems as though there is every reason to. This doesn’t mean you have no right to feel anxious or worried. You only need to make sure that the pressure doesn’t affect you on an emotional level and cripple your judgment. Maintaining composure is especially important in trying to build a good team. Your employees will look to you to set the example. When you’re calm, they’ll tend to remain calm, as well, no matter how challenging the situation is.

Look at the big picture

Being a great leader means you always need to keep an eye on the big picture, running everything through the filter of how it will help attain the business’s whys. It’s a vicious trap to focus on the small things that come up each day and not thinking beyond the current crisis. Ignoring the grand scheme can cause you to settle with easy fixes which, eventually, may not really solve the primary issue. The most important thing is to look at problems from a wider perspective so you won’t forget what matters most when coming up with solutions.

Avoid the blame game

When a dilemma first emerges, people sometimes tend to point fingers. Doing this could waste hours trying to identify the person responsible, which could have otherwise been spent working with your team to find a solution. There’s nothing to be gained from blaming people other than lowering your team’s morale. Instead, go into ‘problem-solving mode’ as soon as the problem is clearly identified.

Fall in love with data

One of the common tendencies of leaders when faced with a difficult situation is relying too much on instinct and convention rather than leveraging relevant data. Technology has provided the business world with so many means to get a more educated view of how things work, and it can be extremely helpful during instances when you need to come up with an objective decision. It’s easier to elect an alternative to go with when it’s backed by data. Numbers don’t lie.

Don’t be the defeatist leader

Dwelling on the negative will only bring down morale, especially when you’re the captain of the ship. Instead, be the type of leader who views problems as “opportunities” and focus on the positive aspects of working through the issue. There’s always a silver lining. And remember, you don’t have to work through problems alone. If you see it as an opportunity to open the lines of communication and make your team a part of the solution, you’ll likely discover that your entire business benefits as a result of teamwork and solidarity.

Work with a Business Coach like me to help become a better problem-solver and a more effective business leader to your team. My extensive clientele consists of companies based in all of the Midlands including Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire. Discover how REACH Business Coaching can help you grow your business by attending our free workshops and seminars.

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