Having strong problem-solving skills can be a huge benefit in the workplace. Problems are at the center of what many people do at work every day. Whether solving a problem for a client, supporting those who are solving problems, or discovering new issues to resolve, a fundamental part of most work roles is finding ways to work through complex situations. Being a confident problem solver is an important trait to have in today’s ultra-competitive work atmosphere. HRDQ offers problem solving training materials that explore problem solving and decision making through a variety of assessments, activities, and games.
Ethical Type Indicator is an easy self-scoring tool that can help you: 1. Discover your primary ethical decision-making preference or ethical type; 2. Assess the degree to which you are influenced by ethical principles; and 3. become empowered to recognize, analyze and resolve future ethical dilemmas.
Problem Solving Style Inventory (PSSI) will help you evaluate your most common problem-solving technique and explain the four key factors to consider when choosing a style to best fit the situation at hand. PSSI has both a self-evaluation and feedback component to identify dominant and supportive styles of decision making.
Deir El Medina is an engaging game designed to identify the various roles each team member plays during work processes while demonstrating how each role contributes to the group’s ability to accomplish goals, solve problems, and achieve success.
The Five Problem-Solving Styles
There are five problem-solving styles that people typically encompass. They include:
- Ego-Oriented. With this style, the manager performs all problem-solving tasks or makes decisions by themselves with no input from others. They determine what the problem is, gather background information, generate possible solutions, choose the final solution, implement the solution, and conduct an evaluation to determine whether the solution actually solved the problem.
- Deferred. With this style, the manager defers solving the problem or making the decision. They are aware that a problem exists or a decision must be made, but they choose not to deal with it at the moment. Deferred problem-solving might take the form of looking for a more perfect solution, waiting to see if the problem will resolve itself, or waiting for the right moment to make a decision.
- Other-Oriented. With this style, the manager has others perform all the problem-solving tasks. The manager recognizes that a problem exists or a decision must be made but delegates the responsibility for correcting the situation to others.
- I/We-Oriented. With this style, the manager includes others in the initial steps of the problem-solving process. They will seek the help of others in identifying the problem, gathering background information, and in weighing possible alternative solutions.
- We-Oriented. With this style, the manager shares in the decision-making process with others. The manager’s input carries no more weight than input offered by other people involved in the process.
Four Key Factors in Choosing a Style
There is no universal best way to solve problems or make decisions. All five styles are useful in certain situations. Supervisors and managers should consider the following four key factors in choosing the best style for a particular situation:
- The maturity level of the employees involved in the problem or decision situation.
- The difficulty level of the problem or decision encountered.
- The constraints in a given problem or decision situation.
- The need for acceptance of the final solution or decision.
Once the style has been chosen, the manager and employees can go ahead with attempting to solve the problem at hand. Use the powerful problem solving training materials and games available at HRDQ to improve decision-making in your organization!
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