Problem Solving-Step Nine-Evaluate

Congratulations on what you accomplished so far.  You learned that clearly defining the problem is the key.  You learned to distinguish between a problem and a condition.  You looked at possible alternatives, took action, monitored your progress, made needed changes and finished solving your problem.  Now you are ready to tackle the next problem, right?  Nope.  You have two more steps before you can take on another big problem.  Evaluate and celebrate!

Evaluating the process you used to solve your problem is a great way to leverage all the painful lessons your learned solving your problem.  What kinds of things can your learn from your successes and failures?

  1.  The skill set of your team
  2. Who can handle pressure and who can’t
  3. Who can be depended on and who can’t
  4. Who is a good team player and who is not
  5. Who will step up and take more authority and responsibility and who shirks both
  6. The problem solving styles of your team members
  7. The interpersonal styles of your team members
  8. The communications skills of your team members, listening, talking, presenting, and writing
  9. If you are the team lead,  you can find out all of the above about yourself
  10.  Who will throw you under the buss when there is a problem
  11.  Who has your back when there is a problem
  12.  How well you can convince people who don’t work for you to support your team
  13. How good you are at sharing credit
  14. How comfortable you are with acclaim
  15. How comfortable you are with criticism
  16. How well you estimate time
  17. How well organized you are
  18. How you and your team react to conflict
  19. How well you can deal with unresolved conflict
  20. How you react to loss of critical resources or team members
  21. How well you prioritize
  22. How well you communicate changes in priorities
  23. How well you delegate
  24. How well you run meetings
  25. What your successful failures were
  26. And much more

Are prima donnas wreaking havoc in your organization?   Watch John Cameron Nip Problem Behaviors in the Bud !

Pretty cool, eh?  This brings up another useful point. How will you evaluate all of these wonderful things if you aren’t keeping track of them? You know you had to track activities to make sure  you were going to hit your marks or deadlines.  Now you know that you have to track all of these other things as well.

Some of your most useful discoveries will be what some folks call successful failures.  These are parts of your problem solving project that blew up on you and caused hardship, pain, loss of money or conflict.  I used to say that I never learned anything unless it involved a trip to the emergency room or me writing a thousand dollar check.  Since I am a little older and more brittle than I used to be, I have made it a point to learn good lessons from less pain.  I suggest you do the same.


Action Items/Activity Triggers 

  1. Put together a list, similar to the one above, listing things to evaluate from your last problem solution project, and from your next.
  2. Prioritize your list.
  3. Keep the things you evaluate in a place where you can use them in your next problem solution project.

About jcameron

People don't avoid tough conversations or tough actions because they are stupid or or lazy or don't care. People don't take on the tough things because they aren't confident and comfortable with a process to take them on. Confidence builds courage and courage leads to action. Through consulting, speaking, training and resources, using humor and great process, John Cameron helps teams and leaders own the skills, the plan and the courage to do what they must do to increase the wealth of their clients, themselves and their organizations. Before he became an energetic and powerful speaker and trainer, John Cameron was a proud member of the 1st of the 509th Airborne Battalion Combat team. After military service, he earned a business degree and worked as a stockbroker in Carmel and Sacramento, California.  John moved into the advertising field, leading his growing sales teams to 37 uninterrupted quarters of growth. During three of those quarters he was project manager during replacement of a legacy advertising system. While managing the project he led his team to double digit growth and found savings of $750K a year-without sacrificing people! When he became a speaker and trainer, John already possessed a wealth of life and workplace experiences to draw upon for his presentations. Add to this John's experience as a top trainer for major national training orgainizations and the result is consulting, training and speaking filled with strategies and techniques that have been tested and proven to work in the real world.
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