18 May 2022

The true measure of an effective business leader is being able to overcome difficult situations

Most of the business owners I talk to admit that they spend more time coming up with solutions and repairing damage than thinking about how to grow their business.

Problem-solving can be daunting for a lot of them, often because they don’t have the experience to know what to do under difficult circumstances. The only way to really get better at solving a particular problem is when after you’ve experienced it. But there are also certain behaviors and leadership strategies that can help you get the right mindset and solve problems more effectively.

Always choose the professional way

Have you noticed that the best leaders never panic even when there is every reason for them to lose their minds? If you want to stay above the line, you 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.

Step back and look at the problem from a distance

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 think 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.

Whatever you do, resist the temptation to blame someone

When a problem first emerges, people sometimes can’t help but 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.

Attack problems with data as your weapon

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 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 a prophet of doom

Focusing on the negative side of things will only bring down morale, especially when you’re the one in charge. Instead, be the type of leader who views problems as “opportunities” and focuses 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.

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