Solution-Oriented Approach to Tough Problems

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Confronting problems or delivering bad news in the work place can be an awkward situation. Especially if it is a situation you need to take to your boss. Harvard Business Review has a four step process for sharing bad news:

  • Describe the problem. Provide a general overview and show the specific impact it has on your work and the company’s goals.
  • Identify your solution. Explain how you’ve already tried to solve the problem and what you’ve learned from those attempts. Recommend a specific approach, along with alternatives to give your manager options.
  • Discuss the benefits. Focus on concrete examples of how your idea will succeed. If you have tested your approach on a small scale with good results, share that information.
  • Accept responsibility. Demonstrate your commitment to ensuring success. Work with your manager to develop a final action plan.

This four step process is great for delivering bad news but most importantly is a solution oriented approach.

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