Ever find yourself in a tight work situation where you become anxious and tense? No matter how unique the problem may seem, it’s likely other people have been in your shoes.
“I’m big on lists, getting things done and seeing progress,” explains Ravin. “Having a problem solving methodology has helped me tremendously.” He suggests there are four key steps to solving business problems at a managerial level:
- Identify the Problem“Figure out what the real problem is,” says Ravin. “Often we confuse symptoms of a problem with what the root cause is.” The easiest way to do this is to keep asking yourself “why” after every statement of the problem until have gotten to the core of the issue
- Loop in the Right PeopleWho are the appropriate people to speak to about the problem? Who has the right skill set to fix it? Remember, these people can be both internal or external.
- Break it DownRavin does not look at a problem as one overwhelming task. Instead, he breaks it down into several small pieces and each have an order of priority. “Let’s say there are ten things that need to get done,” explains Ravin. “I would prioritize those ten based on 1) what is the most important thing to get solved and 2) what can we do quickly to move us forward.” The items that usually end up at the top of the list are the ones that are directly affecting your customers.
- Follow Due DiligenceDue diligence means whatever steps you have put in place to solve the problem, make sure you see resolution to completion. Do not simply assume that it is taken care of because you have assigned the appropriate people with their tasks. Follow up with them and stay on top of their progress, especially in high pressure situations. That being said, you need to find a balance and make sure the people involved know you have faith in their abilities.
Overall, the ability to solve problems in high pressure situations demands that you stay calm and focused, rather than anxious and scattered.
“When time is of the essence, we focus on quick wins by knocking out smaller tasks that help solve the bigger problem,” explains Ravin. “This is one way to stay calm because it is much less daunting.”
Lastly, Ravin warns not to make quick decisions under pressure. If you remain patient, you will reap the rewards of your due diligence in the long term.