Problem-Solving in the Workplace


Problem-solving in the workplace allows people to find successful solutions and management for unexpected and complex situations. Individuals with excellent problem-solving abilities employ both creative and analytical thinking to resolve issues in the office. The phenomenon is significant because it ensures employees take part in the psychological process of recognizing, analyzing, and solving problems they encounter daily. Regarding business development, the skill lets workers learn and use available resources to handle challenges productively and avoid betraying the organization’s integrity (Conn & McLean, 2019). In addition, problem-solving enables people to agree professionally using perspectives afforded to them in the workplace. Therefore, organizations that maximize problem-solving training for employees provide them with a means to efficiently control external and internal interactions that would benefit the business. Generally, individuals with problem-solving abilities are cognitively prepared to handle what they experience in their roles. Therefore, the skill is essential to avoid making false inferences and poor judgment in any workplace.

Problem-Solving Reflection

Problem-solving in the workplace is often demonstrated using four steps: identification, proposition, evaluation, and implementation. In the first stage, employees can employ fact isolation or root-cause analysis to establish the origin of the problem affecting productivity. As a result, they will know what happened, why it occurred, and how preventative measures can be developed to avoid a similar challenge in the future. Secondly, individuals transfer the knowledge obtained in the first phase to provide possible resolutions to handle the arising issue (Conn & McLean, 2019). The proposition step requires people to utilize innovative strategies to address traditional challenges using their current and past experiences. Subsequently, this stage requires one to conduct a risk analysis of proposed resolutions to ensure the plan with the least risk is selected.

The third step of problem-solving is evaluation, which involves assessing the options provided in stage two and their implications on colleagues and the business to minimize negative impacts. There is a symbiotic and multi-faceted set of relations within workplaces where one employee’s actions directly or indirectly affect the other, thus influencing the overall environment’s dynamics. Although this interdependency allows employees to work together, it demands cohesion in performance and collaborative efforts (Conn & McLean, 2019). Evaluation gives them a chance to develop effective decisions as a team and implement adjustments to survive the constantly changing business environment. Lastly, implementation is the last phase of problem-solving; it is the actual implementation of the selected solution in the professional context. Workers, in this stage, understand the value of the success of the chosen option and how it can be reapplied in the future.

Ways of Making Poor Judgment and False Inferences

Employees often encounter several ambiguous and complicated problems which require them to solve rapidly. In such situations, one is bound to portray poor judgment or make false inferences, regardless of their experience, hierarchy, due diligence, and how carefully they commit themselves to tasks. Poor judgment results from various issues, including the pressure to meet deadlines and targets, the type of clients served by an organization, and difficulties and uncertainties in business (Phillips-Wren & Adya, 2020). Although it is risky for one to use sentiments and assumptions in making professional decisions, individuals are likely to critique pressurizing situations based on emotional reactions, impulses, and assumptions. On the other hand, poor judgment can result from the type of clients served by an organization. For example, microfinance companies often deal with people in economic crises, which predisposes employees to emotional circumstances. Therefore, one can make an impulsive decision to issue a loan based on their empathetic feelings toward the client. Lastly, poor judgment can be due to encountering difficulties that have uncertain resolution options. In such circumstances, the brain tends to substitute the challenge with a more straightforward question that is easy to answer. Although the established response might not be optimal, it is always enough at the time.

My Poor Judgment Reflection

My poor judgment in the workplace involved approving a loan based on false inference. I once worked in a microfinance institution as a loan officer. I was responsible for assessing potential clients and applying for loans for them. At one time, I approved an application of a customer who had a non-performing bank loan. Since I was responsible for buyer selection, I constantly received pressure from the management regarding targets; they needed me to disburse more loans and approve more clients. Eventually, I succumbed to the pressure and unknowingly misread customer information. I accepted giving the client a loan without adequately checking his credit records. According to company policy, anyone who had a non-performing loan with another institution was not liable for financing. My actions were against the regulations, and I was forced to follow up on the client to ensure he paid his arrears.


To conclude, professional environments require rational thinking, which is sometimes difficult to achieve. Many problems arise in professional settings due to misunderstandings and poor judgments, prompting the need for problem-solving skills. It is possible to minimize poor judgment instances in the workplace by learning how to appropriately manage stress to avoid issuing verdicts based on emotional triggers and pressurizing environments. Another way to reduce poor judgments is by considering all possible outcomes of an issue before settling on a resolution. This will prevent employees from acting impulsively, reducing the likelihood of poor judgment.


Conn, C., & McLean, R. (2019). Bulletproof Problem Solving: The One Skill that Changes Everything. John Wiley & Sons.

Phillips-Wren, G., & Adya, M. (2020). Decision making under stress: The role of information overload, time pressure, complexity, and uncertainty. Journal of Decision Systems, 29(1), 213-225.

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