Problem solving tips

An office admin always has a lot of problems he or she needs to find a solution for everyday. In order to succeed you need to look at the problem strategically approach it.

  • The first step is making sure you really understand the issue. In many cases you just miss a detail or two and it changes the whole context. So, ask questions if something from the situation seems not fully transparent to you and repeat the whole “story” at the end to make sure you got all the information you need.
  • Consider the available options or solutions you have.
  • For each option or solution you need to imagine all the possible scenarios of the possible outcome: not only in the office, but in everyday life. Ask yourself what’s the goal and then choose the action that will help you achieve it.   
  • Gather relevant ideas that support your solution or problem. It will help you to analyse your solution and see if it is objective or subjective. Sometimes you are confident that your solution is the right one but your vision is subjective. That is why it is best to take a few steps back and try to be as objective as possible.
  • Present your options or solutions to your manager or department. It is very important to prepare your presentation in advance and be able to answer any possible question that might be asked. Your ideas need to be simple and precise, and you need arguments to explain why and how this idea came to you. For example: “I noticed that many of our colleagues complain about the lunch time being very short. I suggest we start ordering food catering so that they stop wasting time having to look for a place to get lunch.
  • Of course, only god knows what other people think. So you always need to prepare a backup plan and try to imagine all of the questions that might rise when you explain your idea. For instance, in our case it can be a question like “The problem is that food catering is very expensive!”. If you are prepared you can say “I calculated that the working time we save will compensate the charges of the food catering.” 

    You can also provide a graph to show that you based your idea on facts and actual data instead of it just coming out of the blue.

  • Finally after the meeting you need to evaluate the outcome. What went how you expected? What went wrong? What can you change and make better for next time? It is very important to do! The conclusion part is as important as the preparation part!

You are the master of solving problems now!

Best,

Svetlana.

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