Student organizations are challenged every day. Problems of varying complexities are thrown your way for you to solve. Here are some steps to get through solving these problems like a hot knife through butter.
1- Accept that the problem exists. As a student executive, problems will come left, right and center. Instead of sulking over their existence, save your precious time and start putting energy into thinking for solutions for the problem.
2- Get informed about the issue. A good thing to do before going crazy is to obtain all of the information about the problem in hand. Gaining knowledge about the problem will chase away the anxiety!
3- What is the worst result? Honestly, what could happen if the problem persisted? It is important that you get an accurate perspective of the issue. Restore it to its actual size. Avoid building the problem up in your head before facing it head on.
4- Rely on your team! There is a reason why you are a student TEAM. There is no “I” in TEAM. Ask for help! Do not hesitate to ask around when it is time to fix the issue. You were appointed to your position because you are a “specialist” but other students or faculty members may also have insight about your problem.
5- Stay open minded. Let go of the fact that you may be wrong. Accept other people’s suggestions and add to them. Try the “yes, and” exercise used in improvisation to building a trust rapport between the executives on the team.
6- Give yourself choices. Start brainstorming with your team and come up with a couple of good solutions. When you have laid out all of the possible solutions to a problem, test, iterate and improve. You don’t know which solution will work unless you try some of them, right?
7- Dissect the problem. This is the part where you break the problem into pieces and you find potential solutions one step at a time. A problem may look mammoth-like if you don’t carefully look at every aspect of it. As a team, each student executive can be charged of fixing different parts of the issue.
8- Be effective in action. This may sound intuitive but it is important to do so. We like to call this the 80/20 rule. Spend 80% of your time solving the problem and 20% whining about it. If you apply this, you will find out that you spend way too much time pouting. Turn that frown upside down young padawan!
9- Find the needle in the haystack. There is a pile of problems that you need to fix. Try and look at it with a positive attitude. This will help your perception of the problem. Find the lesson that can be learned from this. How is this problem going to help your future hitches? Draw something positive out of a negative experience and it will look less bad than it actually is.
10- Keep your troops motivated. Never let the emergence of a problem kill your team’s vibe. Cheer up!