4 Keys to Successful Problem Solving

4 Keys to Successful Problem Solving

Patrick GentempoDear Money Revealed Reader,

Anyone who has a job has a problem.

In fact, they’ve probably got a list of problems…

That is because a job, at its essence, is a series of problems to be solved: How do we market effectively to bring traffic to the website?… How do we address the latest competitive threat?… How do we stay profitable in light of new regulations?

The ironic thing is the better one becomes at solving these problems, the more likely they are to ascend to positions of more responsibility…

And that means more problems. Bigger problems.

But problems aren’t always “problems.”

They can be opportunities (sometimes lucrative ones) for success.

Solve someone else’s problem, get the word out, deliver solutions efficiently and growth will follow. Solve internal problems and the business is better positioned to stay strong in changing market conditions.

Today we are going to dive into a few keys to problem solving. Let’s jump right in.

  1. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence, a key life skill, turns out to be a foundational component of problem solving.

The person who is not in control of their emotions allows stress or fear to take over when faced with a problem. The adrenaline effect brought on by those negative responses temporarily impairs logical thinking, and immediate rather than long-term considerations can end up taking precedence…

A bad decision can result.

That’s why keeping your emotions in check is so vital.

There are in fact tools that can be used to cultivate calm in the face of the stress-provoking problems that plague professionals on a daily basis and define their jobs. These very skills are the ones that successful people have honed over time and through countless challenges, and purposeful application can help anyone to be more effective in facing the daily problems that seem like obstacles to success.

Cultivating a mindset of adaptability and flexibility allows problems to be more readily viewed as opportunities. This allows for an open-mindedness that welcomes new possible solutions and approaches and in some cases redefines the problem altogether.

  1. Use the Resources at Your Disposal

Good problem solvers know how to make use of trusted sources of advice when confronting problems.

No one has the answers to every problem or unlimited perspective.

And when you bring others into the picture it stimulates more creative thinking.

The old cliché about thinking outside the box applies here, and by getting creative perspectives of a problem, new ideas may emerge.

  1. Critical Thinking

Critical thinking itself implies taking emotion out of the equation and putting the mind to work to process the data at hand.

“Critical thinking skill is important because it enables entrepreneurs [to] identify problems and turn such problems into opportunities. Business and financial intelligence, competence, idea generation and strategic project execution are all results of critical thinking,” writes Ajaero Tony Martins of Profitable Venture magazine.[1]

You must have a profound understanding of the business itself. In addition to experience in the field, one should be continuously learning about products, competitors, applicable technical innovations, relevant regulations and market forces that come into play in a given industry.

Martins adds that “understanding comes from experience and experience is all about being involved with the business process. You can also increase your level of understanding by attending seminars, reading books, listening to experts, magazines and analyzing industrial trends.”[2]

Digging even deeper, understanding the business as a whole helps one to further understand the problem on a more practical level.

  1. Become Solution Oriented

Finally, it is time to become solution-oriented. All discussions and steps should maintain a steady focus on the solution in order to avoid shortsighted reactionary steps that may sabotage the end goal.

Solution-oriented problem solving seeks the buy-in and participation of involved parties. It takes their input and concerns seriously.

When those most affected by the problem see that leadership is invested in seeking answers in relationship with them, they are often willing to go the extra mile to achieve the goal.

Professional growth comes with ever-increasing responsibilities and risks — and problems.

Strategizing how to react to these problems has a lasting impact on a company’s future and one’s own career trajectory.

With purpose,

Patrick Gentempo

Patrick Gentempo



[1] Ajaero Tony Martins. “Six Problem Solving Skills Entrepreneurs Need.” 2020. https://www.profitableventure.com/problem-solving-skills/

[2] Ibid. Martins.