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Effective Problem Solving Techniques

Optometric practices interact on a daily basis with some or all of the above individuals or companies:

  • Patients

  • Customers

  • Clients

  • Spectacle lens manufactures

  • Contact lens suppliers

  • Frame companies

  • Accessory companies

  • Ophthalmologists

  • Health care professionals and specialists

  • Medical aids and optical management companies

  • Delivery companies

  • Etc.

Delays, mistakes, wrong orders and many other controllable and uncontrollable obstacles and challenges may arise at any given point in time.

That means the practice must be in a position to deal with all kinds of problems.

The true test of any business that esteems itself as one that offers great service delivery is how it deals with problems that arise.

“I don’t know” can never be an answer that stems out of a practice.

The Problem Solving Process involves the following:

  • Identification of the problem

  • Prioritization of the problem

  • Defining the problem for what it is

  • Selecting the necessary people to help address the problem

  • Collecting problem causes

  • Selecting the best possible solution

  • Implementing the solution

  • Evaluating the solution implemented

  • Setting up principles and procedures to keep problems from recurring

The role of the Optometric Leaders in helping people solve problems is to:

  • Never allow others to think you have the best answers for all problems

  • Ask the right questions

  • Become a coach

  • List the different solutions on paper

  • Ask the team to decide on what they think the best solution should be

  • Develop a game plan and ask the staff for ownership and accountability

Never forget though that the Optometric Leadership Team should have the highest level of intuition compared to everyone around them

Therefore that requires you as the leader to be readers of the following:

Situations – You must capture details that elude the team

Trends – You must have the ability to smell the change in the wind

Resources – You must know what is happening with money, raw materials; technology and people as a whole

People – You must sense what is going on with the team

Themselves – You must have a full awareness of the strengths; skills; weaknesses and current state of mind of the team

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