By Peri Sualp ….
Every day we face many problems. These can be big or small. Problems may vary from minor personal issues to bigger group problems or furthermore between countries. A problem that might not seem important to you, can be an important issue for others. Small or big, important or not if there is a problem around, it needs to be resolved. The sooner the problem is resolved the better you may continue to look ahead.
Some problems need to be resolved immediately and some need a longer time to sort them out.
So what does it take to be a good problem solver?
First of all you need to understand that there’s a problem. Then you need to make a plan and apply your plan. For example you missed the school bus and you have an important exam that day and your parents have already left for work at a distance. When you understand that you have a problem then you can make a plan of calling your friends who are passing by with a car then you apply your plan by making quick phone calls to arrange to be picked up. There! Your problem is solved!
If you have a problem related to a group matter then you need to be more systematical and do some research and consider the risks involved and use team work. Imagine there is a planned concert of the school and the ‘old’ piano of the school needs tuning and the school administration doesn’t have a budget for this. After some research to find a reasonable piano tuner and considering the possible risks of making the piano worse during the tuning process, if you have decided to continue to solve this matter then for example you can arrange a small charity concert using other instruments or acapella with your team of friends who were going to be involved in the upcoming concert in order to raise money for the tuning of the piano. I am sure you’ll make even more money than needed for the piano.
Countless examples can be given to problems and how to solve them. But you can’t learn how to be a good problem solver by reading numerous stories and examples. You need to have strong decision making skills as well. Unfortunately sometimes you need to be spontaneous in problem solving in order to avoid bigger problems. I would like to give you some personal examples: During my concerts everything seems to be going perfectly for the audience but the truth is NO! I had to sort out many issues with very quick decision making in order to solve the problem so that no-one understands anything. The flow of the concert is really important and you are bound by the time and unfortunately there is no rewind. If you have a performance full of faults and troubles nobody would appreciate you or would come to your next concert. Everything has to be perfect.
In my very first concert I was too young and I couldn’t climb and sit on the stool they provided for me, so I immediately decided to sit on the edge of the stage. In Bellapais Abbey the microphone cords tangled on my legs and I continued my song as if nothing happened. In Istanbul Pera Palace I was supposed to come out from a seashell where the top part of the shell was supposed to stay back but somebody moved its position before the concert began and it kept closing so instead of moving forward to sing my song as I was supposed to I leaned back. And in Ataturk Kultur Merkezi the adjustment of the smoke machine had been moved so there was lots of smoke coming out and I was about to choke, so I left the stage and walked into the audience to breath and continue my song without any interruption. The list goes on and on. If I wasn’t able to sort out these rather undetected possible disasters in a heartbeat then I don’t think I would have a chance in my career. To be able to look perfect is a big issue when you are on the stage and in front of many people.
Problem solving is a very important issue for all kinds of businesses and personal works in life. I think those companies and people who are better problem solvers are higher achievers. If you can’t solve your problems then you cannot move on. You don’t even remain in your same place, you fall behind because there are others who have already overtaken you. Look at all those success stories of companies and people; they all have problems, issues, conflicts in their journey but somehow they all managed to overcome them with their problem solving skills and well deserve the places they reach.
In our lives, we need to solve problems continually, our world is a problematic place and the societies we live in are creating problems all the time so you need to improve your problem solving skills if you want to survive and achieve in this world…
I wish less problematic days to all of you!