Team Problem Solving Skills

problem-solvingOne of the most key elements of a successful business team is the ability to solve problems independently, and to come up with a solution that everyone can agree upon. Not needing a manager or higher-up to resolve every issue and approve every step in the process greatly improves efficiency, and encourages individual members to be more proactive and make conscientious choices. This gives everyone confidence and relieves the pressure of those further up the executive chain to have to micro-manage.

There are several steps that your team can go through to solve problems, and at each one it’s important that everyone’s contribution is taken into account and valued.

1. Identify the problem. As a team, everyone needs to be able to clearly articulate what the problem is. This is one area where having numbers helps – one person may see it as one issue, whereas someone else may see it a different way entirely. Gathering opinions from everyone to decide where the true problem lies is the first step, and can be done collectively.

2. Plan possible solutions. Another strength that comes with a team is being able to brainstorm lots of different thoughts and opinions. Allow everyone to have their say on what the best solution would be, and consider each different option. Arrive at the best one by group consensus – it’s essential that teams operate democratically, otherwise people may feel resentful.

3. Decide action steps and assign them. By gathering people with different expertise onto a single team, you can easily understand what practical steps will actually be needed to proceed, their costs and how long they will take to complete. Teams can also assign tasks according to who has available time and can get to it soonest.

4. Follow through and assess. When teams come up with a solution, it’s essential that they assess its success or failure as a team as well. This way everyone can agree on what could be done better next time, as well as which techniques are worth using again.

Team problem solving skills allow everyone to work more efficiently, feel confident in their role and feel like a valued member of the team.

Further Team Problem Solving Resources: