Every successful team is served by the presence of two important entities—problem solvers and problem seers. These two distinctly different entities play vital roles in their teams sustaining success.

Problem solvers possess certain qualities and skills that enable them to effectively analyze and find solutions to the challenges and obstacles their teams face. Proficient problem solvers have an analytical mind.

They can break down complex issues into smaller, manageable components. They can assess situations objectively, consider various factors, and often detect the root causes of the problem.

They can also evaluate information and evidence critically, avoiding biases and making well-informed decisions based on logical reasoning.

Their critical thinking is often accompanied by creativity. Problem solvers can think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions. They are open to exploring unconventional approaches when traditional methods cannot yield the desired results.

Challenges are not always solved quickly. Hence, problem solvers are persistent in their efforts, even when faced with setbacks. They are flexible, adaptable, and can adjust their strategies as new information emerges or circumstances change, all the while maintaining a resilient positive attitude.

Problem seers identify current and potential problems. They steer their teams clear from catastrophic breakdowns by calling attention to otherwise overlooked issues.

Identifying and foreseeing problems is an essential skill that requires an equally unique combination of attributes and qualities.

Problem seers possess an instinctive curiosity. Being curious and inquisitive enables them to explore various angles and possibilities, allowing them to spot potential issues to which others may be oblivious.

Problem seers are intuitive. High levels of empathy allow them to recognize when their “gut feelings” tell them that something might go wrong, which compels them to investigate further and go deeper.

Their curiosity and intuition are amplified by their experience and knowledge. A thorough understanding of the subject matter or domain helps problem seers recognize subtle signs of potential problems that others are likely to miss.

Plenty of leaders recognize the value of having problem solvers on their teams. But far fewer appreciate the talents of problem seers. Most leaders aren’t even aware that this ability is an actual talent. But it most certainly is.

Problem solvers can fix problems, yet they’re not necessarily able to spot them. Problem seers can spot problems, yet they do not necessarily possess the skills to fix them.

If you’ve got a teammate who is a problem solver, consider your team fortunate. If you’ve got a teammate who is a problem seer, consider your team addedly fortunate. If you’ve got both on your team, consider your team poised to experience sustained success.

As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.

Lance Loya is the founder and CEO of the Good Teammate Factory and the creator National Be a Good Teammate Day. He is a former sports coach turned bestselling author, blogger, and professional speaker, who inspires TEAMBUSTERS to become TEAMMATES. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or through his weekly Teammate Tuesday blog.

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