Problem Solving: How to Avoid Pouring Cold Water on Good Ideas

As a leader or manager, your ability to solve problems is a key contributor to your success. Trouble is that people, in their desire to get an answer and move on to the next thing, fail to effectively deal with problems.

Often part of the challenge is that people either:

  • Fail to explore the problem or
  • Jump too quickly to judgement about what will and what won’t work.

So, what’s the answer to this dilemma?

  1. Make sure that you and everyone else understands what the problem really is. Keep digging until you get to the heart of the problem.
  2. Separate the process of evaluating ideas from generating ideas so that you don’t evaluate too quickly.
  3. Don’t discount ideas or put people down who seem to be coming up with what initially seem like off the wall ideas.
  4. Encourage people to ask questions to really explore the ideas being put forward.
  5. Don’t mock or make fun of people who challenge what’s possible. They might be the people with the breakthrough ideas.
  6. Encourage people to build on an idea and add to it to come up with an even better idea.

The truth is many ideas are lost before they have even had a proper airing. So what other tips would you add so that people avoid pouring cold water on good ideas?

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps accountants and health professionals to achieve success and realize their professional potential through being highly effective leaders and managers. For more information and to sign up for his free audio e-course click here

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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