Management Belief #3: A solutions focus wins

When faced with problems or setbacks, it can be easy for managers to get bogged down analysing what caused the issue. However, while understanding the root cause is important, effective managers believe they need to quickly shift their focus to identifying solutions. Dwelling too long on past mistakes or failures can lead to unproductive negativity that drains energy from moving forward constructively.

Great managers realise that problems are an inevitable part of any workplace. Rather than seeing them as failures or catastrophes, outstanding managers view problems as opportunities to improve systems and prevent future issues. They maintain a solutions-focused mindset, gathering input from their team to generate creative ideas for overcoming obstacles. Their positive attitude inspires their team to also adopt a constructive perspective.

A solutions-oriented approach enables managers to respond quickly and decisively when challenges emerge. They are able to put emotions aside and logically evaluate possible options to address problems. Rather than panicking or freezing up, they take control of the situation by outlining action steps to test potential solutions. Their calm and systematic response provides stability and direction when things go wrong.

When focusing on solutions, great managers also consider how the problem arose in the first place. They conduct root cause analyses to understand the contributing factors and then put preventative measures in place. While keeping their focus forward, they also reflect on past mistakes to prevent recurrence. By balancing reactive problem-solving with proactive process improvements, outstanding managers enhance overall performance.

Importantly, solution-focused managers also know when to seek help. They realise that engaging their team’s insights and abilities leads to better solutions. Promoting collaborative problem-solving across their department improves morale, empowering employees to take initiative in addressing issues. Allowing staff to actively participate in generating solutions boosts their skills and investment in implementing remedies.

While staying positive, solution-oriented managers also remain realistic. If efforts to resolve a problem are ineffective, they pivot quickly to try alternate strategies. They understand that tenacity and optimism are key, but that flexibility is equally important. Adjusting tactics based on results, rather than sticking rigidly to one approach, is crucial for overcoming difficult challenges.

In summary, outstanding managers distinguish themselves with their solutions-centered approach. By focusing their energy on constructive forward momentum versus past mistakes, they lead their teams through difficulties with poise and purpose. Their solution-focused outlook provides direction amidst problems and enables proactive improvements for the future. Managers who embrace this mindset create workplaces that are more positive, collaborative and resilient when faced with adversity.