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Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Trying to find the root cause of a problem during a crisis is a challenge. But what could you do to become more effective at solving problems in your workplace?

To get to the facts of the matter, a problem solver has to ask the right questions. And in a crisis situation, gathering this data needs to be fast. But how do you know which questions to ask to get to the root of the problem?

The problem solving experts don't keep their trade secrets to themselves. In fact, over one million people worldwide have been trained in Kepner-Tregoe's Problem Solving and Decision Making techniques. The right questions to ask have already been developed and proven time and again. But being effective at using them is what makes the difference.

So what should you focus on to become a more effective problem solver? These guidelines can help:

Understand your intention. You're trying to unravel a mystery- each question you ask

should intend to uncover the critical facts. Understand your assumptions. Each question has its limitations and it's important to

understand these in different situations. Focus your questions. Craft the question in a deliberate way that will extract the maximum

amount of information possible or confirm the facts. Certain words you use may restrict the

information that you receive. Know when you should re-ask the question in a different way. Get specific. Instead of "Tell me about the timing", improve this to "What was the exact date

and time of the first occurrence?" Ask the right person. Find out who is closer to the answers. Eye-witnesses are more likely to

know the true scenario. Use logic and transparency. Keep a logical approach to the questioning process and share

that visually with others. Take them on the journey of discovery with you. Respect the data. Handle the answers you receive in a professional yet relational way and

don't forget to verify them.

Putting a fix in place before you've made certain of the facts can lead to a problem even bigger than the one you're trying to solve.


At the end of the KT Problem Solving and Decision Making workshop, you'll be able to:

• Find the cause of challenging problems using a fact-driven approach • Identify and plan for the resolution of high-priority issues • Make complex decisions aligned with strategic and operational priorities • Understand and manage risks proactively while executing strategic initiatives effectively • Promote and maximize the benefits of future opportunities

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