Be A Solutions Finder


As leaders we are faced with many difficult and trying issues.  Sometimes we focus so hard on one part of the issue that we cannot see the big picture.  Expanding our perspective is one solution to solving problems.  Think of it like a puzzle or a game.  Train your mind and your eyes to see the "CAN" when the world tells you, "you can't." It's not always easy, but there is a solution and opportunity for every problem.

--- Leadership Tip: Be a Solutions Finder!

Here is a simple way leaders gain perspective and find solutions:

1. Close your eyes and take a few DEEP breaths. Relax. Be open to the process.

2. Take a step back from the situation. This could be figuratively or literally.

3. Write down all the stakeholders in the situation, or in other words, write down everyone who is affected or influenced by the situation.

4. This may be tricky at first, but with practice it comes more naturally. For each stakeholder, write down how the situation is helping or benefiting them. Whose interests are they protecting? How are they profiting? What is the situation from their perspective? Answer these questions for yourself, too. This step helps to identify and depersonalize the problem at hand. It helps to know what you're dealing with and how to effectively solve the problem for step five.

5. Write down all the resources you have at your disposal, or at least easily accessible. This could include but not limited to: personal beliefs and values, strengths, abilities, experience, coping mechanisms, people you know, different businesses or organizations, knowledge of rules and laws, skill set, etcetera.

6. Write down solutions you see and the desired outcomes.

7. Trial and error. Implement the solutions and evaluate the outcomes. Adjust and repeat until satisfied.

8. Self-reflection. This should actually happen throughout the process, but definitely at the end! What did you learn about yourself? What strengths did you discover?  What area of weaknesses did you encounter? How would you handle the situation differently the next time something similar occurs? How do you feel?

These are the steps I use for any situation from resolving a conflict with a peer, to event planning, to managing employees, to discovering who I am in the business world coming from academia. I've used these steps to help clients figure out their issues, and to help students who want to quit to realize that they have the answers within them. I encourage you, next time you feel stuck, to look for the CAN in can't. I believe in you!!!

-Melody Agbisit-


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