Problem-solving skills are extremely important in life and more so in business. Regardless of your profession, industry or lifestyle, solving problems is part of everyday life.
First of all, who is an entrepreneur? They are individuals who turn ideas into reality and as a result, are very important in our society. The entrepreneurial journey is riddled with ups and downs and my ability to solve problems has given me great success in business.
My problem-solving skills have developed and improved over time through experience and hearing about the experiences of other entrepreneurs – one of the reasons why we created the lonely entrepreneur program.
How to Develop Problem Solving Skills
When it comes to problem-solving, each situation is different and therefore requires a different approach each time. Some business challenges, such as taking a new product to market to sell online can be very tough, and their solutions may require a lot more thought and critical evaluation than others.
Other problems are very simple, and you can solve them easily, but regardless of how big or how complex a problem is, you will always need to find a viable solution.
Part of being a great problem solver is knowing how to evaluate each situation and look at outcomes on a holistic level, analyzing how your solutions will affect you or your business in the long term.
In this article, we want to show you the six main skills that are important when it comes to solving problems both in your personal life and in business.
Once you find yourself in a deep problem, you simply need to evaluate the situation and apply these skills. You will be surprised at how some of the things you perceived as tough actually turn out to be straightforward.
Here are the six problem-solving skills that any entrepreneur should master:
1. Critical Thinking
When in a problem, most of us tend to make decisions in a hurry. We simply execute the first idea that comes into our minds without taking the time to think about the issue at hand.
Critical thinking is the process of taking your time to digest the issue at hand logically before making a judgment. Using this skill, you will analyze all the factors that are related to the problem and come up with a suitable and satisfactory conclusion.
This problem-solving skill is especially important in business when making decisions related to finances, legal issues, and employees.
Being able to critically think about issues is central to success in life and in business.
2. Creativity/ Lateral Thinking
Lateral thinking is the ability to think outside the box when solving problems. We asserted in an article post about the different types of entrepreneurs that there are innovators and imitators.
Imitators have a one-dimensional view of life and tend to think that solutions to one problem will work for everything. Innovators, on the other hand, believe in thinking differently about problems.
It has to do with asking several questions about the issue and making solid conclusions that lead to good solutions.
Creativity entails allowing your mind to wander and dig deep into the problems at hand, going beyond the surface and using your critical thinking problem-solving skills to analyze each issue.
Having initiative is central to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Not only is it important in terms of customer acquisition, it helps when you have to solve a problem.
Proactive entrepreneurs are always looking for new ways to do things, to communicate with their staff and to improve their product or service, inadvertently reducing the risk of having problems in the future.
The initiative of an entrepreneur is developed over time and it shows that you are passionate about your product and determined to succeed; qualities that investors love to see.
Any good problem-solver knows how to research, find similarities between themselves and others and use their initiative to seek out good solutions to problems and part of being a good problem-solver is your ability to keep going regardless of how many times you fail.
Persistence, determination or perseverance is a key trait of successful people. As we had mentioned, problems come in different ways, some are technical and some are financial. In most cases, the more complex the problem, the more critical thinking and persistence required.
Persistence is an important problem-solving skill that is often misunderstood by a lot of people. Being persistent does not necessarily mean doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
You have to be wise in your decision making and determined to achieve the best outcome through constant evaluation.
Flexibility or adaptability is the ability to be open-minded and open to new opportunities and change. This is true for the founders of Slack, a billion dollar productivity software company which came about after the founder failed in his quest to create a video game.
You should be able to change your mind to suit different situations or circumstances. When trying to solve a problem, not all the solutions that you try out will work. Some can backfire and leave you quite frustrated.
By being flexible, you will be able to apply different solutions to solve an issue. This is far much better than sticking to a single solution that is not yielding any fruits.
A flexible person is also open to receiving suggestions from other people who may be experts in solving similar problems. As we have mentioned before, most of us experience similar issues on a daily basis especially in business and knowing who to turn to will make all the difference.
Finally, when it comes to solving problems, you need to be focused and disciplined. Regardless of how good you are at solving different problems, your efforts may not bear any fruits if you don’t have self-discipline. This is the ability to control yourself and remain focused on finding the solutions to the problem.
Constantly evaluating situations and thinking critically about them require a certain level of discipline which you must have to become successful.
By being self-disciplined, you will be able to remain on the right path without being distracted by any external factors. This skill will also help you to be fully committed to finding the best solutions each time.
It does not matter what kind of problem that you are facing. The most important thing is how you solve it. These six problem-solving skills can come in handy whenever you find yourself in a tricky situation.