Action Wheel Leadership

Problem Solving Exercises


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Teaching Problem Solving Skills

Problem solving exercises are a way to prepare for an unexpected event or difficult situation before it arises. Teaching problem solving skills prepares your organization for the unexpected by creating reliable, competent and capable employees who can recognize and resolve problems in the workplace.

Our company's approach to problem solving is the Action Wheel leadership model developed by Dr. Robert Terry in his book Authentic Leadership: Courage In Action

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Problem Solving Exercises

Gaining new skills requires practice. On-the-job training may work for some tasks, but unanticipated situations require a separate set of problem solving skills.

Defining Personalities

Each person has their own method of thinking; by using problem solving exercises, people can discover how someone else may solve a problem, helping individuals form a cohesive team that utilizes everyone's skills. Some people rely on intuition while others use feelings to help them solve problems. You can effectively apply both approaches to any problem in a team exercise.

The Action Wheel Assessment is the perfect starting point for any organization to engage its members in problem solving.

People see the world differently and how they perceive their world determines how they will use that information to solve problems. Inviting people to take part in a game of problem solving exercises allows them to learn about themselves and their fellow employees. This can be a valuable tool for real problem solving later.

Keys to Solving Problems

Teaching Problem Solving Skills: When working on solving problems, people may have very diverse viewpoints. It is important that each viewpoint be considered as a potential part of the solution. Considering a problem or issue from dissimilar perspectives provides a broad spectrum of information.

In some cases, each person adds some fact to a particular situation of which others may not be aware. For instance, if three people observe an automobile accident, an investigator will hear three separate but accurate accounts. By combining the three descriptions, the investigator can arrive at a more accurate assessment of how the accident occurred.

Lack of complete information may cause a solution to a problem to be inappropriate or ineffective. Working together, gathering information and presenting multiple solutions allows the implementation of the best solution.

Games That Teach Problem Solving Skills

Adults can learn how to solve problems more effectively if they engage in problem solving games. Children play games to learn cooperation, and adults can apply and use these same types of skills.

A factory that is experiencing a high level of accidents may engage in a variation of I Spy. Walking through the factory a team leader may say, "I spy a wrench", and hear responses like, "the wrench is on the roller"; "the wrench is on the floor", "the wrench is near the power junction box".

If these comments indicate a safety regulation violation, the team can then discuss various solutions for ensuring that the wrenches are properly stored when not in use and reducing the possibility of on-the-job injuries. This is just one example of how playing games can be valuable problem solving exercises and teach basic problem solving steps.

Organizational Problem Solving

Embedded in our company's problem-solving approach are techniques that build strong, consistent leaders that will engage, align, and motivate employees and propel your entire organization to optimal performance.

Our leadership assessment tools deliver insights into the key values that inform individual and group decision making and problem solving. Organizational mis-alignment is the root cause of most business problems. We assess the strenghts and weaknesses within any organization and provide customized training and problem solving exercises to move your organization from good to great.

Related Pages

Teaching Problem Solving Skills

Problem Solving Steps

Types of Decision Making

Action Wheel Assessment

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