Perhaps the most important thing you do in business is to solve problems and make decisions, both by yourself and with other people. Consequently, your ability to communicate is the most important skill you can develop to get on to the fast track in your career. Here are some tips to think about for problem solving and communicating from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Ohio:
Use A Systematic Process — A major type of communication in the business organization is meeting for problem solving and decision-making. The key to effective problem solving and decision making discussions, is for you to all go through the process systematically.
Define the Problem Clearly — Right at the beginning, you ask the question, “What exactly is the problem?” Clarity of definition will resolve 50% of the issues before they go any further.
Focus on the Future — When discussing a problem, be sure to focus on the future over the past. Ask the question, “Where do we go from here?” “What do we do from here?” “What are our options for the future?” Too many problem-solving discussions end up focusing all of the attention of all the people present on what happened in the past and who is to blame. The effective executive uses this type of communication to focus on where the company and the individuals are going, and what can happen in the future—the only part of the equation over which anyone has any control.
Discuss the Solutions — A necessary element in effective problem solving communications is for you to talk about the solutions instead of talking about the problems. It is important for you to keep the attention of the individuals in the meeting focused on the possible solutions and what can be done rather than what has already happened.
Release Creativity — The discussion of solutions is inherently positive, uplifting and has a tendency to release creativity amongst the group. A discussion of problems is inherently negative and tends to inhibit creativity.
The Key to Positive Thinking — You can become a positive thinker simply by becoming a solution-oriented person rather than a problem-oriented person. If you get everyone in your organization thinking and talking in terms of solutions, you will be astonished at the quality and quantity of ideas that will emerge.
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