Mar 25th 2020

Problem solving, decision making, blah blah

Do a quick google search for ‘problem solving’ and you’ll see results like ‘25 steps to problem solving’ or ‘7 steps to solve any problem’. Although there is a big difference between the number of steps, both seem equally overwhelming, boring and time-consuming. 

Maybe we’re being cynical here, but outlining 25 steps doesn’t exactly sound like *solving* anything in our books. 

You’ve got other stuff to do after all.

In our recent survey of 500 SME and startup business owners, we asked what the most important interpersonal skills were for their businesses, and problem solving came in fourth (after communication, creativity and time management). 

Yet only 10% of companies prioritise investing in interpersonal skills over technical skills. 

The business impact of poor soft skills can be immense. A third of the survey respondents said they’d lost a current or potential customer as a result. Equally as many suffered from a ‘decrease in productivity’. 

Let’s solve this problem (see what we did there) and outline Tempo’s revolutionary one-step process for problem solving. 

This is Eisenhower’s Decision Matrix. It was a lie when we said we came up with this. Eisenhower did. Sorry. But hear us out. 

This matrix famously helps you prioritise tasks by urgency and importance. It is often used as a time-management tool where you can input all your tasks to decide which you do first.

But the matrix can also be used for problem solving. 

Let’s say you’re a hiring manager interviewing a candidate and you want to assess them on X skill. By deciding in advance what the most urgent and important thing for them to include in their answer is, you’ll easily be able to determine if they’re up for the job.

If you’re working with a client looking to solve Y problem, you can input all their thoughts and concerns  into the matrix, making sure to prioritise your solution around the most urgent and important one.

And, if you’re at the supermarket shopping for tonight’s dinner and Z is the main part of the meal, there is no point buying the less urgent and less important items if Z is sold out. 

Forget about 25 steps to problem solving. We didn’t even read past the second one, to be honest – it wasn’t an urgent or important task for us.

Meet the Masters of More 

Side hustles. The gig economy. Job hopping. Careers are changing, and the way people think about work is too.

We spend 90,000 hours of life at work. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. You do the math. If you harness your time you can learn, hone and master nine skills throughout your career. Who do you want to be?

Throughout nine weeks we dive into nine soft skills in high demand by employers. We introduce candidates who are nailing this new world of work. Meet the Masters of More.