How To Be A Better Problem Solver
Who doesn’t want to be known as the problem solver? Be that go-to person that people turn to when they’re stuck. Be that creative thinker that can spit out solutions or alternate ways to approach challenges.
If you’re a leader, you definitely want to have the qualities.
So what can you do to develop this quality? To be recognized in your team and organization as a problem solver?
The answer might be surprising to some:
Get in the habit of learning new skills!
For the past year and a half, I have learned so many new skills! Everything from Mailchimp, Facebook Live, how to build funnels (and all the different websites, tools, and integrations associated with it), webinars, online conferencing, Periscope, FanDate, you name it!
Now, I know some people will read that and think — that is information overload! And I give them credit, yes, that would be information overload if I attempted to do it all at the same time. I was able to do all that in the course of one year because I learn quickly, and that’s just the way my mind works. I’m not advocating that everyone goes out and learns as many skills as possible.
What I am saying, though, is that if you want to improve your problem solving and creative abilities, then you should actively go out and start learning new skills. Start with one. Master it. And then learn another.
Here are the 3 benefits I’ve discovered and experienced came out of my learning new skills.
Benefit #1: Confidence Booster
There’s something about deciding to learn something and then actually learning it. Our brain sees it as a success. It sees it as proof that we are capable. It boosts are self-esteem, our confidence, and our trust in our self.
Each time you learn and master a skill, you are building up your subconscious confidence level. When it’s time to master the next skill, your brain starts thinking “I’ve done it before, I can do it again. It’s possible.” So you enter into the next “adventure” with a greater confidence level and greater possibility that you will master it.
This is called psychological momentum. Each little success creates momentum that propels you forward. It’s true in sports and in business as well.
As you build that confidence, your belief in your ability to solve problems increases. You’ll be more confident as you face those challenges. That confidence will help you solve those challenges.
Benefit #2: Peer Recognition
As you learn new skills, guess what will happen? People will start coming to you for help. You’ll become their confidant and counselor.
They’ll see your increased confidence, and will be attracted to that. Sometimes, they’ll ask you to propose solutions, other times they’ll ask you to confirm whether their course of action the best path forward. Other times, they’ll ask for your help to do something, because of the skills you have.
When I worked in corporate America, I used my people skills to connect with everyone. People saw that, and would ask me for advice on how to approach co-workers who were a bit more difficult to connect with. I mastered different technical skills, and people would come ask me for help with those programs. Same thing in the entrepreneurial world. People would ask me for my read/take on different online personalities, for advice on what programs I’m using, how I schedule my social media posts, etc…
Why is this a benefit? Because when you see that other people believe in you, it will also boost your belief in yourself. Having so many people come to you also gives you more opportunities to practice your problem solving and creative thinking skills.
And, it boosts your reputation as a problem solver. If you’re the one who is recognized as the go-to person by your peers, then guess what? Your bosses are noticing that too.
Benefit #3: Creative Thinking Habit
All this time, what you’re really doing is creating the habit of thinking differently, of thinking creatively. You pick up a skill, master it, learn another one. Your self confidence increases. So you repeat.
You have internal validation, and then you start getting external validation. You peers are now bringing you opportunities to think creatively. And before you know it, you are in the habit of thinking creatively.
As you learn those skills, you now approach any problem from multiple angles. Where others might see limitations, you see another way — because of the skills you learned.
For example, I was attempting to merge my Be Fearless registrations with my email responder. There was no direct way of doing it. Most people would have thrown up their hands and said “Oh well.” I knew better. Because of all the skills I have learned over the past years, I was able to find an intermediary app that connects the two. Challenge solved.
I was able to find a solution because I had trained my mind to think differently.