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Practical Problem-Solving Skills in the Workplace

Book Description

Problem-solving skills to identify and resolve work-related problems and improve job performance. With the increasing emphasis on initiative in the workplace, it‘s essential to know how to recognize, define, and analyze problems and then develop workable solutions to correct them. This book provides all the skills needed to achieve this, including a problem-solving tree. Readers will learn how to: • Evaluate your own problem-solving strengths and weaknesses • Use problem-solving skills to identify and resolve work-related problems and improve your job performance • Track the steps you need to solve work-related problems with the Problem-Solving Tree. This is an ebook version of the AMA Self-Study course. If you want to take the course for credit you need to either purchase a hard copy of the course through amaselfstudy.org or purchase an online version of the course through www.flexstudy.com.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. About This Course
  6. How to Take This Course
  7. Pre-test
  8. 1 Why You Need to Be a Problem Solver
    1. For Whom This Course Is Designed
    2. Why Problem Solving Is Becoming a Business Necessity
      1. The Changing Global Economy
      2. Why American Employers Are Looking for Problem Solvers
    3. The Meaning of Problem in a Business Setting
      1. Problems May Be Big or Small
      2. Middle-range Problems
    4. What Employers Say About Problem-solving Employees
      1. Assume Responsibility for Solving Small Problems Yourself
      2. Involve the Boss Early When the Problem Exceeds Your Responsibility
      3. What Boss Means in This Book
    5. Recap
    6. Review Questions
  9. 2 Portraits of Successful Problem Solvers
    1. One Portrait of a Problem Solver: Andrea Jefferson
    2. The Attributes of Successful Problem Solvers
      1. Gathering, Sorting, and Analyzing Information
      2. Having Confidence in Yourself
      3. Being Flexible
      4. Taking Risks
      5. Being Objective
      6. Communicating Your Ideas Effectively
    3. Recap
    4. Review Questions
  10. 3 Identifying Work-related Problems
    1. Problem Identification Is a Real Skill
    2. The Alarm Goes Off
      1. Make Sure You’re Listening for the Alarm
      2. A Problem Interrupts the Flow of Your Work
      3. Problem Versus Distraction
    3. Knowing What to Do Next
      1. Can You Continue Your Work?
      2. The Yes Branch: Make Sure You Are Not Evading a Problem
      3. The No Branch: Situations in Which You Cannot Complete Your Task
    4. Identifying Typical Problems in the Workplace
      1. Processing
      2. Interacting with Customers
      3. Special Assignments
      4. Supervising
    5. You Have a Problem
    6. Recap
    7. Review Questions
  11. 4 Defining the Problem
    1. The Importance of Defining the Problem
      1. Defining Is a Process
      2. The Process Has Two Steps
    2. How to Define Problems
      1. Learning How to Talk to Yourself: the Ws
      2. Using the Ws: An Example
      3. Don’t Confuse Solutions with Problems
    3. Recap
    4. Review Questions
  12. 5 Gathering Information
    1. The Importance of Information Gathering in Problem Solving
      1. The Information at Hand
      2. Gathering Further Information
      3. When Information Gathering Is Appropriate
      4. When Information Gathering Is Not Appropriate
    2. Figuring Out What You Don’t Know
      1. Remember the W Questions
      2. Start with the General, Then Get Specific
    3. Research Methods: How to Find Out What You Need to Know
      1. Networking for Information
      2. Researching Documents
    4. Recap
    5. Review Questions
  13. 6 From Problem to Project
    1. Understanding the Elements of a Project
    2. Knowing Your Destination
      1. Developing a Project-objective Statement
      2. Plan the Route to Take to Get to Your Destination
    3. Identifying Essential Project Tasks
      1. Category Sorting
      2. Last-to-first Sorting
      3. Applying a Critical-needs Test
    4. Recap
    5. Review Questions
  14. 7 The Work Plan: Organizing and Managing Your Project Tasks
    1. The Purpose of a Work Plan
    2. The Elements of a Work Plan: Task Analysis
    3. Recap
    4. Review Questions
  15. 8 Managing and Evaluating the Progress of Your Project
    1. What Project Management Is All About
    2. Turning Your Work Plan into a Project-management Tool
    3. Establishing a Project-milestone Schedule
    4. More Advanced Methods for Displaying Your Project-Management Plan
      1. Gantt Charts
      2. PERT Charts
    5. Some Last Words on Problem Solving
    6. Recap
    7. Review Questions
  16. Bibliography
  17. Post-test
  18. Index