Management Development Secrets – Easy Problem Solving

March 3, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

Managers all have problems – this is, of course, a given as part of the job.

The challenges come from resolving them – and the first step is finding out just what kind of problems you have.

They come in all shapes and sizes, yet when you boil it down, there are the kinds of problems you want – and those you don’t.

The tactics for resolving problems, whether they are Good or Bad, are the same, so there are skills you can adopt to make problems of both sorts go away, for good!

The difference between the two sorts of problems are that if we could, we would choose to experience more of the ‘Good’ Problems, because they help us learn new skills, develop our performance or are just plain fun to do.

If there was a way of defining different sorts of problems, it might be that there are some ‘problems’ – often the ones we would choose ourselves – which we enjoy, as distinct from the sorts of problems that we want rid of, that simply drive us nuts.

Good Problems

Good Problems are where we have a passion in finding solutions that will make a difference.
Having the time to focus on these sorts of problems is often eroded by filling our days with the sort of problems we don’t want.

When we create the time, space and focus, we can enjoy more Good Problems, indeed, we seek them out, just because that’s our nature and we want the challenge of solving them.

Good Problems are more like intriguing challenges or puzzles. We want them in our day, because there is a pleasure in them. We learn from them, have fun and are passionate about finding interesting solutions too.

Good Problems are the ones we set ourselves to develop and grow, whilst delivering better performances along the way too.

Good Problems we choose to do, because we are inventive and want to be challenged, which leads us to…

Bad Problems

When we look from the right perspective, any problem has some good in it. In fact often, we gain much more from resolving the Bad Problems that we come across, because the learnings are so very big!

Because the opportunity to consider the ways of overcoming a tricky problem that we faced into, when viewed constructively, can be very useful indeed.

That said, every day we face problems that are something of an irritant. These are problems we do not choose to be creative about our development – these are just a pain!

Fixing them makes these problems go away – at least for a while – except where the fix was a Band-Aid and we see them bouncing back again sometime later.

Making Bad Problems go away permanently enables us to make more space for the kind of problems we want in our work and lives. Those we choose to explore – the Good Problems we like.

With Bad Problems, we sometimes don’t realize the value we accrue from the experience – a bit like taking a nasty tasting medicine!

You see, all problems are different, so making the choices to move from the Bad problems we don’t want to make space for the Good Problems which we like and want, is a major progressive step in how we set about our management.

(c) 2010 Martin Haworth. This is a short excerpt from one of 52 lessons in management development at Super Successful Manager!, an easy to use, step-by-step weekly development program for managers of EVERY skill level. Find out more at

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