Canadian Contractor

Four steps to problem solving

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December 4, 2012 by Mike Draper

Yesterday, I was helping a client solve a customer problem.  The discussion was going round and round and round but never seemed to move towards a resolution.  The discussion was really more like a complaint session and not a problem resolution discussion.  As such, the emotions where starting to escalate to a point that might have had no return.

It is possible to get your project back on track and the client happy again.  First and most important is that you have to communicate with your client and accept responsibility for the problem resolution process.  This doesn’t mean accepting responsibility for the problem, just to the process of resolution.

Here are the key 4 Steps to problem resolution:

  • Identify the problem
  • Describe the situation
  • Discuss the preferred outcome
  • Solution /alternative solution
Most people jump too quickly to the solution without ever truly understanding the root problem.  Most of the time is spent with pointing fingers and trying to place blame rather than agreeing on the problem and working towards a resolution.   The Solution step is the last step and will be quite easy once you have Identified the Problem and Discussed the Preferred Outcome.  You will be amazed at how simple it will be to resolve a client issue, get the project back on track and how happy your client will be that you took responsibility for resolving the problem.




Mike Draper

Mike Draper

Mike Draper is a Master Coach with Renovantage. Renovantage is a first-of-its-kind business group for home renovators in Canada. (
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