If you have to deal with problems in your office on a regular basis, here are a few things to keep in mind.
One way to identify a problem and a solution is to have a meeting with all who have a stake in the matter.
Call a meeting and ask those people directly affected by the problem to brainstorm in order to come up with the causes of the problem.
Let's say a supplier has been late with deliveries three times already this month, and your customers have been complaining.
A possible cause that might be unearthed is the following: "I called the supplier, and I learned they have staff shortages this week because of the winter flu."
Another cause might be the following: "I heard that the employees are on a go-slow as they are unhappy with their new salary increase."
Now that some reasons for the delays have been put forward, you are in a better position to create some possible solutions to the problem at hand for your company.
One way to do this is to invite the employees themselves to come up with suggestions. This could be in a meeting as above, where the staff again brainstorm for possible solutions. Alternatively, you could use a suggestion box and offer a reward for the best solution. One suggestion might be the following: "We could switch suppliers although we'd probably have to pay higher prices."
Another suggestion might be: "How about imposing a fine - a payment every time a delivery is late and pass that money on to our customer who received the product late?"
Once enough suggestions have been made, create a committee to select the best, or have a vote in your office among all the staff so that they can choose the best solution.
Many people consider problems only as things that might or could happen when, in fact, they will happen at some point or another.
Because of this, there are certain aspects of language that lend themselves well to discussing problems and their solutions.
Two scenarios commonly used when discussing problems are "if" in conditional statements and "when" in complex sentences.
For example: "If we discussed the problem with their managers, we might have a better idea of how to proceed."
The modal verb "will" can also be used to indicate a decision on, or solution to, a problem made at the time of speaking.
You can also combine "will" with the present continuous tense (to be + main verb + -ing) as in the following example: "Bill, our supplier, is coming at the end of the month for our quarterly meeting. I'll call and ask him to come sooner."
For pointers on using the English language effectively and forcefully in business, visit http://www.CEC.co.th or contact Corporate English Consulting at email@example.com or on 02-248-8306 - 13.
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