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Problem-Solving in the Workplace: Dos and Don'ts

Team members sometimes have disagreements. Sometimes these issues may be simple differences of opinion or they can escalate quickly. Or perhaps there is a toxic member of your team that is disrupting your workplace. No matter the situation, problem-solving skills are crucial to maintaining harmony and productivity. Here are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to addressing conflicts in your company.

Do: Listen

If team members come to you for advice or ask you to do something about a certain situation, listen to what they have to say first. Even if you already know about an ongoing problem, before you decide to take action, listen to all parties involved.

If you are having trouble with other employees or coworkers, also listen first. Everyone has their own perception of what goes on, and although their reaction may not be the best one, listening to what troubles them may be the first step towards finding a healthy solution.

Don’t: Look for someone to blame

It’s easy to blame someone or find and escape goat. The real challenge is to become neutral and analyze the situation with a cool temper. That is why listening is so important. If you listen first and take other perspectives into account, then you develop empathy towards the involved parties. Solutions then become much fairer.

Do: Work on your company culture and recruiting principles

It is easier to avoid problems in the future if you work on your company culture. State your company’s values and share them with all of your employees. Share these values with customers, suppliers and other contractors.

These values should be integrated into everything your company does, including recruiting processes. When your HR specialist is interviewing and screening candidates, it will be much easier for her to identify like-minded professionals.

Don’t: Be ambiguous or avoid the issue at hand

Passive-aggressiveness is not helpful at all when it comes to problem solving. If anything, it just adds more pressure to the problem. When facing an issue be very clear of what you think the problem is, listen attentively to all parties involved, and deliver clear expectations. When things are out in the open, people know exactly what they are dealing with.

Problem-solving skills are very important for your company’s success. Reach out to other professionals or training programs, and make sure your working culture is enriched with problem-solving values.

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