Knowing how to solve problems at work is the best way to achieve your career goals! These job success strategies include finding the job that suits your personality, coping with difficult coworkers, and improving your work environment.
But before the tips, a quip:
“One of the most insidious myths people believe in the workplace,” says career coach Marcus Buckingham, “is this idea that we should all be team players and do what the team asks of us….Our real moral duty is to offer our greatest strength to the team—to give it the opportunity to use us where we’re at our strongest.”
To learn more about building your strengths and letting go of your weaknesses, read Marcus Buckingham’s book Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance (it provides more details than the DVD — but the DVD is probably more energizing and inspiring! He’s a fantastic speaker).
Okay, enough about Marcus Buckingham. Check out these tips for problem solving at work…
5 Ways to Solve Problems at Work
1. Find a job that suits your personality. The number one tip for solving your work problmes (and achieving your career goals) is to find a job that matches your personality traits! If you’re an extrovert, you need a job that involves lots of people, lots of variety, and lots of energy. If you’re an introverted personality type, you need independent, solo work – you need to find a job that suits introverts. If you’re not in the right job, you’ll have a much harder time solving problems at work.
Are you an introvert? Read Best Jobs for People Who Like to Be Alone…Introverts!
2. Know how to deal with difficult coworkers. Difficult coworkers (and toxic people, unfortunately) are part of every career – even a writer who works at home and rarely sees anyone, like me! I suspect that most problems at work are caused by other people, which makes dealing with difficult coworkers an important job success strategy.
Read books such as Toxic Coworkers: How to Deal with Dysfunctional People on the Job, take workshops, and remember that negotiating conflict at work takes time and practice.
3. Learn how to improve your work environment. Speaking of difficult coworkers…how are you contributing to your problems at work? Are you part of the solution, or part of the problem? (sorry for the cliché – but it just works here!). Create a better work environment by focusing on your strengths and becoming a better person to work with. Be the coworker everyone will miss when you get that promotion!
4. Become adept at office politics. Office politics won’t go away. Instead of raging against the problems office politics create, focus on how office politics can be a job success strategy. For instance, building solid working relationships with everyone from the CEO to the janitor is “office politics” – but it’s an extremely effective way to solve problems at work.
If your work problems involve difficult coworkers, read Dealing With Office Politics? 9 Ways to Make Work Better.
5. Set smart career goals – and adjust as necessary. What are you doing in this job – is it even worthwhile to learn how to solve your work problems? If this job isn’t part of achieving your career goals, then you need to re-evaluate your professional future. Read books like What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers. Listen to DVDs and lectures from career coaches like Marcus Buckingham – I loved his Strengths because it gave me permission to focus on building my Quips and Tips blogs the way I want, not the way other professional bloggers say I should!
“It’s ironic that your strengths can be so easy to overlook, because they’re clamoring for your attention in the most basic way: Using them makes you feel strong. All you have to do is teach yourself to pay attention. Try to be conscious of yourself and how you feel as you’re completing your day-to-day tasks.”
Knowing how to solve problems at work isn’t just about solving problems at work! It’s about developing job success strategies that affect your entire career.
If your problems at work involve your clothes, read When Your Coworkers Complain About What You Wear to Work.
I'm glad you're here! My name is Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen; my husband Bruce and I live in Vancouver, BC with our critters. We can't have kids, and are learning to accept whatever life brings - both good and bad. I have an MSW (Master of Social Work) from UBC, and degrees in Education and Psychology. I hope you say hello below - I can't give relationship advice, but writing can bring you clarity and insight.