skip to content
Primary navigation

Problem Solving and Decision Making

“The other often much prefers a clear answer, even if it’s no, than continued indecision and waffling”  – William Ury

Avoidance, cryptic language, or indecision will never solve a problem. Many of us are hesitant to be decisive out of fear we will make the wrong decision, or that we will hurt our working relationships. Ignoring problems, poor communication, and wasting time are all much more harmful than making a tough call. 

To balance our concerns with our bottom line, we can work collaboratively to weigh options and predict outcomes before making a decision. Problem-solving meetings should be asking, and attempting to answer the following questions:

  • What is the problem? Bigger issues could be hiding under minor inconveniences. 
  • Why is it happening? Make sure your final decision addresses the root cause. 
  • How can we fix it? Many problems are solved with additional training or better communication.
  • Did we achieve our goal? Test out your solution to see if it works and adjust as needed. 

Not every decision has to be final, and problem-solving can take a while. Sometimes it’s best to make decisions for the short-term and revisit the issue after additional time and practice. 

Other times, there is no need to solve a problem at all, and asking the right questions to the right people is more than enough. Discuss what works and how to keep it going, what isn't, and which bad patterns need to break. 

Resources from the Enterprise

Enterprise Talent Development (ETD) offers Skills Development Courses on this topic. Review upcoming scheduled courses on the ETD website. 

From ADM Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution

Recommended by Successful Teams

back to top