The ability to troubleshoot is one important skill every leader needs to have. Troubleshooting is the ability to find solutions to problems.
If there is one thing we are certain of in life is that things will go wrong. This is the reality of life.
Your car will break down. Your water pump will not work. Your business idea will not work. An article you have published will gather no traffic. Your relationship will become stale. You will have a culture of lack of cooperation amongst your group. Your much touted marketing campaign will fail. Your business may end up with litigations.
Something, somewhere, somehow will not work. And, as a leader you will need to find out why it is not working and fix it.
ONE KEY TO FINDING AND FIXING WHAT IS WRONG IS TO KNOW EVERY PROBLEM HAS A ROOT CAUSE.
One principle life operates by is the principle of cause and effect. Anytime something breaks down there is a root cause responsible for the breakdown.
The strength of a problem is its root cause. Solving a problem is dealing with the root cause. And, except we can define this cause we will be working on the wrong cause without any progress.
The question is how do you unearth the root cause of a problem you are having? Follow these three methods.
THREE METHODS TO FINDING THE ROOT CAUSE OF A PROBLEM.
Ask questions of your assumptions.
One way to find the root cause of our problem is to ask question of our assumptions. As human being behind many of the things we do is one assumption or another.
When things are not working sometimes it is as a result of wrong assumptions. Our assumptions can be wrong. This is because certain elements that make the assumptions changed. Or other outside elements has forced them to become invalid.
That is why it is a good practice to ask questions of such assumptions. Asking the right kind of questions give us understand and insight into what is not working.
Here are a few questions that might help us check our assumptions. We ask ourselves and others these questions and see the understanding we can come up with.
What are the assumptions I am working with here? Are these assumptions still valid? What kind of mental block does these assumptions create? What difficulties do these assumptions create? In what ways can I test these assumptions? These and many more questions should be asked of our assumptions.
When we are working with a wrong assumption it can keep us circling the same mountain forever.
Find out the rules you have violated.
Rules are pre decisions. Rules are made based on thorough analysis of a situation at hand. Whether in life or in our relationship with our spouse or in running our business there are rules to follow.
The reason for rules is to protect us and enhance our performance.
Following certain rules help to put you in such a peak condition where you are able to perform well.
When things go wrong rules help us correct them. Most times things go wrong because rules are violated.
If those things will be corrected we have to look at the rules we have obeyed. And the ones we have neglected to obey for us to know why things have gone wrong.
Approach it as a system
Life is a system. Everything in life is a system or part of a system. From our homes to our society.
When things go wrong with any aspect of our work one way to resolve it is to see that aspect of our work for the system that it is and treat it as such.
A system by definition is a collection of series steps that make up a process. There is the input, reservoir and output in every system.
Almost every time a system has problems the input is always the culprit. Check … .
1. The quantity of the input. Too much input overloads the system and makes it difficult to work well
2. The quality of the input. This affects the quality of the product. It is a case of garbage in garbage out.
3. The wrong kind of input. This waste effort without producing any result.
4. The wrong state of input. This breaks things down
5. At worst no input. When there is no input there will be no output. The system cannot run on zero.
Watch the input that goes into what you are doing and you will save yourself a ton of headache.
Create a right environment that gives the right input and you would have solved the problem.
BENEFITS OF MASTERING THESE TROUBLESHOOTING METHODS.
1. It will help conserve our resources of time and energy.
2. It will save us from unnecessary anguish.
3. It will show us where to spend our energy.
4. It enhances our ability to resolve issues quickly and move on with our life and work.
You will be called to troubleshoot when things go out of control. When you have people problem, When an idea would not work, etc. but the success of what you do depends on your approach.
Master your approach.