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Strength and Weakness: What Type of Leader Are You?

Strength and Weakness: What Type of Leader Are You?

Some people are born leaders. However, not all leaders operate by the same modus operandi. It’s important to know what type of leader you are in order to maximize your potential, as well as the potential of your team or company. Are you a creative thinker, or more traditional in your problem-solving methods? Do you like to have a solid gameplan, or would you rather jump into the fray and fix things on the fly? Do you act on emotion, or through carefully thought-out logic? Depending on how you answered these questions, you probably fall into one of the following categories, according to Inc.com:

1. Envisioner

The Envisioner is always dreaming up big things for his team. He isn’t limited by conventions. When others say we can’t do things that way, the Envisioner asks, “Why not?” He approaches each problem with a unique perspective, and will think outside the box when given an especially difficult task. The Envisioner rarely meets a problem he can’t solve with his creativity.

However, problems can arise when the Envisioner thinks too big. His ideas might be too creative, in that he ends up utilizing too many resources, or realizes he didn’t think his solution through to the end. The Envisioner’s idealistic nature sometimes blinds him from the reality of the situation, and he’s left dreaming in the clouds while the rest of his team is working on a grounded way to get things done.

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Envisioners work best as artists, musicians, or any other profession in which their worth is determined by their creativity. If you’re an Envisioner, you might find it difficult to work in a position in which you have a budget and other limitations holding you back from your dream.

2. Analyzer

The Analyzer is programmed to look at each and every problem she faces systematically. While the Envisioner has lofty, unrealistic hopes for the future, the Analyzer stays grounded and sees things as they truly are. The Analyzer doesn’t waste time trying to reinvent the wheel; rather, she subscribes to the old axiom, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” She is more than happy to stay the course, as long as things get done to the best of a team’s ability.

Of course, this means the Analyzer rarely introduces innovation to the team. The Analyzer tends to shy away from new ways of doing things, and is incredibly skeptical of those who try to be creative in their solutions. Unfortunately, since the Analyzer doesn’t take many risks, she actually runs a bigger risk of allowing her team and company to fall behind others who come up with modern spins on old traditions.

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Lawyers and judges are, of course, analytical thinkers. Their jobs require them to work within the law rather than to bend it as they see fit. They don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but instead must be sure the machine stays afloat.

3. Feeler

The Feeler is an emotionally-driven leader who sees his team as people first, employees second. He’s empathetic to his teams needs, and understands that a good team can’t function unless their basic needs are met. The Feeler won’t be the boss requiring his employees to come in on Saturday to finish up work that should have been done Friday, because he understands they need down time in order to be effective come Monday morning.

However, when you’re the leader of a team, there are times when you can’t be everyone’s best friend. The Feeler often has trouble laying down the law when things aren’t going the way they should be. In an effort to appease everyone, he may end up failing the company by not enforcing a “strictly business” policy in the workplace.

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The Feeler is best fit to work as a counselor or psychiatrist, as he is able to work with others on an personal, emotional level rather than focusing on business.

4. Doer

The Doer is strictly results-oriented, regardless of the cost. According to the Doer, if something needs to get done, it better get done immediately and without hesitation. The Doer doesn’t waste time analyzing possible solutions. When she makes a decision, she sticks to it and expects everyone else to fall in line. Unlike the Feeler, the Doer might have her employees come in on Saturday if they didn’t get the job done Friday.

But the decisions the Doer makes aren’t always the right ones. Since she tends to make quick decisions and jump into projects, she often loses sight of the big picture. Unfortunately, the Doer is also very rigid and stuck in her ways. Regardless of whether her initial plan actually works or not, she will stick with it to the end. This can result in a drop in morale, especially when she ignores her employees’ innovative contingency plans.

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Athletes are the epitome of Doers. They know what their goal is, and they know how to accomplish it to the best of their ability. The best athletes never let anyone else stand in the way of their goals.

Not sure what type of leader you are? Check out this handy test on Inc.com and let us know in the comments what your leadership style is.

Featured photo credit: 2nd Annual Learning Leaders Conference at Harley-Davidson Museum® / Dirk Tussing via farm8.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

Have you ever thought of yourself as a problem solver? I’m guessing not. But in reality, we are constantly solving problems. And the better our problem solving skills are, the easier our lives are.

Problems arise in many shapes and forms. They can be mundane, everyday problems, or larger more complex problems:

What to have for dinner tonight?

Which route to take to work?

How to fix a project that’s running behind schedule?

How to change from an uninspiring job to a career you’re really passionate about?

Every day, you’ll be faced with at least one problem to solve. But it gets easier when you realize that problems are simply choices. There’s nothing ‘scary’ about them other than having to make a decision.

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No matter what job you’re in, where you live, who your partner is, how many friends you have, you will be judged on your ability to solve problems. Because problems equal hassles for everyone concerned. And people don’t like hassle. So the more problems you can solve, the less hassle all-round, the happier people are with you. Everyone wins.

Why Are Problem Solving Skills Important?

Problem is something hard to understand or accomplish or deal with. It can be a task, a situation, or even a person. Problem solving involves methods and skills to find the best solutions to problems.

Problem solving is important because we all have decisions to make, and questions to answer in our lives. Amazing people like Eleanor Roosevelt, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., are all great problems solvers. Good parents, teachers, doctors and waiters all have to be good at solving different sort of problems as well.

Problem solving skills are for our everyday lives.

How to Enhance Problem Solving Skills

Most people believe that you have to be very intelligent in order to be a good problem solver, but that’s not true.

You don’t have to be super smart to be a problem solver, you just need practice.

When you understand the different steps to solve a problem, you’ll be able to come up with great solutions.

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1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem

Neuroscientists have proven that your brain cannot find solutions if you focus on the problem.[1] This is because when you focus on the problem, you’re effectively feeding ‘negativity,’ which in turn activates negative emotions in the brain. These emotions block potential solutions.

I’m not saying you should ‘ignore the problem,’ instead, try to remain calm. It helps to first, acknowledge the problem; and then, move your focus to a solution-oriented mindset where you keep fixed on what the ‘answer’ could be, rather than lingering on ‘what went wrong’ and ‘who’s fault it is’.

2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem

5 Whys is a problem solving framework to help you get to the root of a problem.

By repeatedly asking the question “why” on a problem, you can dig into the root cause of a problem, and that’s how you can find the best solution to tackle the root problem once and for all. And it can go deeper than just asking why for five times.

For example:

If the problem is “always late to work”…

  • Why am I late to work?
    I always click the snooze button and just want to go on sleeping.
  • Why do I want to go on sleeping?
    I feel so tired in the morning.
  • Why do I feel tired in the morning?
    I slept late the night before, that’s why.
  • Why did I sleep late?
    I wasn’t sleepy after drinking coffee, and I just kept scrolling my Facebook feed and somehow I couldn’t stop.
  • Why did I drink coffee?
    Because I was too sleepy at work in the afternoon, not having enough sleep the night before.

So there you see, if you didn’t try to dig out the root of the problem, you may just set a few more alarms and have it beep every five minutes in the morning. But in fact, the problem you need to solve is to quit Facebook surfing endlessly at night so you’ll feel more energetic in the day time, and you won’t even need coffee.

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3. Simplify Things

As human beings, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be! Try simplifying your problem by generalizing it.

Remove all the details and go back to the basics. Try looking for a really easy, obvious solution – you might be surprised at the results! And we all know that it’s often the simple things that are the most productive.

4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible

Try to come up with ‘ALL POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS’ – even if they seem ridiculous at first. It’s important you keep an open mind to boost creative thinking, which can trigger potential solutions.

Coming from 10 years in the corporate advertising industry, it is drummed into you that ‘No idea is a bad idea’ and this aids creative thinking in brainstorms and other problem-solving techniques.

Whatever you do, do not ridicule yourself for coming up with ‘stupid solutions’ as it’s often the crazy ideas that trigger other more viable solutions.

5. Think Laterally

Change the ‘direction’ of your thoughts by thinking laterally. Pay attention to the saying,

‘You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging it deeper.”

Try to change your approach and look at things in a new way. You can try flipping your objective around and looking for a solution that is the polar opposite!

Even if it feels silly, a fresh and unique approach usually stimulates a fresh solution.

6. Use Language That Creates Possibility

Lead your thinking with phrases like ‘what if…’ and ‘imagine if…’ These terms open up our brains to think creatively and encourage solutions.

Avoid closed, negative language such as ‘I don’t think…’ or ‘But this is not right…’.

The Bottom Line

There’s nothing scary about a problem when you start to adapt my advice.

Try not to view problems as ‘scary’ things! If you think about what a problem really is, it’s really just feedback on your current situation.

Every problem is telling you that something is not currently working and that you need to find a new way around it.

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So try to approach problems neutrally – without any judgment. Practice focusing on defining a problem, keep calm and not to make things too complicated.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Planet of Success: Problem vs Solution Focused Thinking

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