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In a perfect world, money would grow on trees. Companies would never face competition and profits would rise infinitely. Clients would never be in default and employees would perform with perfect efficiency. Technology would never fail, nor would recessions grind industry down to a halt. Unfortunately – we live in the real world. Where leaders simply can’t escape these, and the many other challenges that are routine to business. This is why problem-solving is one of the most essential abilities necessary for strong leadership. It is impossible for any organization to thrive if its leadership is inept at resolving problems on a consistent basis. Here a five principles essential to successful problem-solving:

1. Listening:

Ignorance is the single most substantial impediment to problem-solving. Problems inherently pose questions. They present conflicts that can only be resolved through investigation and application of practical knowledge. As such, listening is integral to problem-solving because it is the primary way to learn about the nature of a problem and how to address it. Be alert, be aware, and be observant. The more you listen to the stakeholders in a given problem the more you realize exactly how to approach its challenges.

2. Communication:

If knowledge is necessary to understand a problem, then exchanging knowledge is fundamental to solve said problem. Strong communication is thus a skill that contributes invaluably to problem-solving in that it enables a leader to foster interaction that neutralizes undesirable conditions. The only way to overcome a contentious situation with others is through dialogue. Exchanging perspectives in both a unifying and constructive way eliminates conflict and generates ideas to tackle prevailing issues.

3. Open Mindedness:

One of the most unfortunate instincts that people display when confronted by problems is defensiveness. The possibility of having to admit fault embarrasses some to the point of stubbornness that actually makes the situation worse. This is why no matter what the issue may be, having an open mind can mean the difference between success and failure. A lack of innovation and adaptability makes it difficult to react to changing or sensitive circumstances in a positive way.

4. Strategy:

All the information in the world is meaningless if it cannot be leveraged effectively. Leaders aren’t just expected to be all-knowing, they also need to be capable of discerning how to capitalize on knowledge in a tactical way. Problem-solving in itself denotes analyzing, planning and executing concepts that eliminate a set of difficult circumstances. Leaders should not only appreciate the short term implications of a given problem, they should also possess enough foresight to prepare for the long-term, especially when most are compelled to only regard the present.

5. Cooperation:

Some problems simply cannot be fixed unilaterally regardless of how capable a person may be as a leader. The more complex a problem is, the likelier it is that resolution can only be achieved with help from qualified partners. A strong ability to build relationships with others, whether friend or foe, is therefore indispensable when it comes to dealing with demanding problems.

At the very least, ignoring the importance of problem-solving skills as a leader is unwise. Whether you like it or not, the fact that problems happen to everyone, in every context imaginable, means that the more prepared you are to contend with problems, the more you will end up ensuring your own survival and the survival of those who depend on you. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give us a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how The RISE Programs Academy for Business Coaching and Leadership Training can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.