How would a manager use systematic thinking and intuitive thinking in problem-solving?
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In the process of problem-solving, managers may resort to two types of thinking: systematic and intuitive. Both of these approaches have their advantages and disadvantages that may have a profound impact on the success of the decisions made by managers. Thus, administrators should be careful when choosing which of the types of thinking to employ in each particular situation.
Systematic thinking is most commonly used when there is a need to establish a connection between some processes in a system’s work. An example of such a situation in an organization is when a manager needs to identify why the work is not efficient enough at some level. To do this, the manager needs to analyze the company’s work as a whole and scrutinize the operation of each department separately. As a result of such actions, the administrator will be able to determine the level at which the problem occurred and find the best ways of resolving it. The biggest problem with systematic thinking is that in the majority of cases, managers use it after an accident has happened instead of employing it as a preventive approach. Meanwhile, systematic thinking could decrease the number of problematic issues. If a manager pays efforts to the appropriate analysis of the company’s operations at each level, he or she will save much time on dealing with the adverse outcomes of negative incidents.
Intuitive thinking is used to solve a problem with the help of experience or intuition. A manager may either be familiar with the situation that presents risks for the company or perceive the best solution based on instincts. An example of such thinking is when the supervisor chooses the employees for fulfilling some tasks because he or she has a feeling that these people can cope with the problem. In such a situation, the manager does not take into consideration the employees’ previous achievements. Instead of doing that, he or she bases the decisions on the perception of the workers’ strengths that they are likely to express when dealing with the task. Another example of intuitive thinking is when the manager makes a decision about promotion options. Most frequently, managers do not resort to data or rely on statistics. Instead, they tend to make a resolution based on their personal beliefs or conversations with a few colleagues. Sometimes, politics within the company and intuition-based decisions have more power than any objective data or numbers.
Systematic and intuitive thinking use different approaches to problem-solving. The first one involves much analysis and interpretation of the results. The second one is less time-consuming but presupposes some degree of risk. Both types of thinking are highly productive in case they are chosen for the appropriate situation. In some cases, one of them is better for all managerial decisions than the other. Sometimes, however, the administrator may choose to combine the best solutions suggested by the two methods. The most important thing is to reach the most beneficial outcomes for the organization and the people working in it. Thus, managers choose a variety of methods in order to provide their customers with the highest quality of services and arrange the most favorable conditions of work for the employees.
You are under a lot of pressure because the problem situation involves social loafing and poor performance by one of your team members. You have come up with a reason to remove him from the team. But you feel very uneasy about it. As a team leader, what do you do now?
Being a manager includes not only the responsibility of administrating the work of the employees. Frequently, managers have to face such unpleasant cases as firing a member of the team whose performance is below the necessary standards or dismissing such a person from working on an important project. Before making a decision associated with removing a person from the team, it is necessary to think it over and make sure that it is the only possible variant.
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If I were in the situation when poor performance and social loafing of an employee would demand to remove him or her from the team, I would make the following steps. First of all, I would analyze the person’s performance over a considerable period of time. It would be wrong to evaluate the performance of a person based on several weeks or even months of work. When performing such an analysis, I might consult other specialists and ask their opinion about the productivity of that employee. In addition to that, I could ask the person’s closest colleagues, whether they had experienced any difficulties because of the employee’s irresponsibility and lack of devotion to the project.
Upon establishing that there were serious reasons to regard the employee as showing too little effort, I would appoint a meeting with this person. It is crucial to explain to the team member why the manager wants to remove him or her from the current project. I would start by expressing gratitude for the person’s previous dedication to work. Then, I would explain the reasons for our meeting. I think that it would be fair to give the employee a chance to explain the causes of losing interest in work. However, whatever those causes might have been, no one should use them as a justification for their poor performance. Therefore, the next step would be telling the person that their insufficient devotion to the project disabled them from continuing to be a part of the team. I would find such an employee a less responsible task and control how they were coping with it.
The final step would be another meeting with the person in a few weeks to evaluate their progress. If the person showed the improvement and increased productivity, I might consider including him or her in another big project. However, if the employee did not demonstrate any progress, it could signify that he or she should not be given any responsible tasks or even might be dismissed.
Another crucial step in the process would be the explanation of the situation to the whole team in a polite and considerate manner. It is obvious that people would have noticed the changes in the team, and it would be necessary to eliminate the spread of rumors by explaining the actual state of things. In addition, such a conversation might decrease the number of similar cases since it would let the employees realize the significance of doing their job diligently.
A good manager is the one who can deal with complicated cases and make the best decisions both for the organization and people working for it. It is necessary to approach each case with a sufficient amount of evidence and predict the possible outcomes. When a manager uses such an approach, he or she can eliminate the feeling of uneasiness when talking to the employee who needs to be removed from the team.