Great leaders are, at their core, great problem-solvers. They take proactive measures to avoid conflicts and address issues when they arise.
At businesses both large and small, the best leaders use four similar problem-solving tactics, writes Glenn Llopis, chairman of the leadership and business development company Glenn Llopis Group, in a recent post for Forbes. He says these strategies can go a long way toward deterring problems and resolving them peacefully when needed.
1. Communicate transparently.
When there’s a problem, it’s important that everyone feel able to express their concerns and opinions freely. “I’ve seen one too many times how difficult it is to get to the root of the matter in a timely manner when people do not speak up,” Llopis writes. Effective leaders facilitate open dialogue and work for accountability from the entire team.
2. Break down silos.
Workplace problems frequently arise from organizational boundaries. Breaking down those barriers will create a more open culture and decrease competition — which, in turn, should lessen office problems. A great leader understands this, and acts on it.
3. Foster an open-minded culture.
“In the end,” Llopis writes, “problem solving is about people working together to make the organisation and the people it serves better.” To accomplish that, it’s essential to have open-minded and positive people in the office, and that’s the leader’s responsibility.
4. Always have a plan of action.
Successful leaders are experienced problem-solvers. When trouble hits, they know from past encounters how to work with the right people and resources to reach a solution. Llopis says the worst way to approach an issue is without an underlying strategy. “Take enough time to step back and assess the situation,” he writes.
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