Do you have ‘excellent problem solver’ listed as a key skill on your resume?
We admire people with excellent problem-solving skills, and rightly so. They have the ability to get to the root cause and to determine the best solution and implement it. Problem Solvers are genuinely valuable to your business.
Yet there is a skill that adds even more value. Imagine being a ‘problem preventer’. You see the potential problem and put strategies in place to prevent it from actually occurring.
Turn Problem Solving, into Problem Preventing
More than 80% of the problems we need to solve could have been pre-empted and therefore prevented.
In order to pre-empt you must have a sense of being ‘in control’, you need time to stop so that you can reflect, and see the ‘big picture’. It’s as if you are ‘up in your helicopter’ overlooking your business.
It’s much easier to see bottlenecks and potential crises from above. It’s also much easier to see how they can be fixed or prevented.
Ensure that you schedule a time to be ‘in your helicopter’ each week. Your ‘problem preventer’ skills will minimise the wasted time and stress that ‘firefighting’ inevitably brings.
Turn FAQs into a Continuous Improvement Project
A great opportunity to be proactive is encompassed in your FAQ section.
The FAQ page is an excellent ‘stop-gap’ measure. However, if these questions are FAQ we clearly need to do better at answering them in the first place!
FAQs are a great idea source for a continuous improvement project. Take action and get that FAQ off that list.
Often with FAQs you need to ask, ‘Are we communicating in the language our current clients use and understand?”. Or are they asking questions because they are unsure of the context?
Do you need to coach your staff and/or your clients in particular aspects of your products or services? Would one-on-one coaching or a ‘cheat-sheet’ be helpful?
Reap the Benefits of Proactive Work
When staff are less reactive, focused on their critical tasks and have highly productive periods of time to complete these tasks, that increased productivity and increased quality go straight to the bottom line.
The personal benefits are just as pronounced.
When you are ‘in control; you feel much more satisfied. This leads to increased levels of motivation, which increases levels of productivity and achievement. And high levels of achievement promote further motivation and still higher levels of productivity and achievement. You’re now on the continuous upwards ‘achievement cycle’ circuit!
Preventing Problems Helps You Achieve at World Class Levels
Whilst most people work at their best with some pressure, too much pressure has a negative impact on our level of excellence and on our productivity. There is a fine line between pressure and stress, and that line is differently positioned for each person.
Focusing on problem prevention helps you be in control and perform at world class levels.
When you have clarity about your critical tasks and techniques for focusing on these, there will be enough pressure to work at your best, but not so much that it has a negative impact causing you to underperform and lose focus.
Schedule some time to be ‘in your helicopter’ this week, and start looking for problems you can prevent. Not only will you reduce the levels of stress in your role, but you’ll also stand out in your business and become known as a highly valued problem preventer!