Have you ever been presented with a problem or difficult question that has you “floored” and you have NO idea how to solve it? You and your team are no doubt frequently confronted with the need to solve problems.
There are many ways people tend to react to being dealt a difficult situation to solve: (1) feel cornered and want to run from it; (2) get aggravated by having the problem dumped on YOU to solve; (3) want to let someone else deal with it; or (4) fear that you may handle it incorrectly and suffer the consequences.
Although it is not always possible to stay out of corners, being solution oriented can make the process easier. Let’s take a situation of no new patients for the last few weeks. This is a flap. You have never been trained on marketing and nothing you have tried has been successful. You’re panicky and worried about your practice shrinking instead of growing.
What is a step by step process you can use to solve this or any situation:
1. Don’t feel cornered, panicky, aggravated or worried. View it as a game.
2. Identify the exact problem. Really see it for what it is.
3. Ask your staff for their ideas about this problem. Collect data. Do they actually think it IS a problem? What have they tried to
do about it? Do they think it is important?
4. Put your heads together and list out all possible solutions or options. Ask Google about this problem. You may be surprised that
many people have asked the same questions and that many answers have been suggested. Research fully on this. Make a list.
5. Evaluate what would be the best possible option given time and money constraints.
6. Implement the solution and document the actions taken.
7. See the results, ie. did the stats go up? Was the solution successful and correct or not?
8. Try again if at first you don’t succeed (as the saying goes). Don’t give up.
9. Once you have a successful solution, make a policy manual entry that documents this and it will become the standard operating procedure in the future when you and your staff are presented with the same or a similar situation.
Problem solving is a part of everyday life but you can handle it effectively if you have a procedure as outlined above.
Stay out of corners!
CALL FOR A FREE PRACTICE ASSESSMENT
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to The Art of Management Inc. and a clickable link back to this page.