Identify Main Issues Using the IDEAL Problem-Solving Model after Office Administration Training

become an office administrator

Office administrators are the backbone of organization and efficiency in a work environment. They’re also great problem-solvers and are able to think quickly on their feet. When you are faced with decision-making challenges in your career, you will need methods in place to be able to clearly and effectively make choices. With solid action plans, your confidence will soar, and you will be in control of your responsibilities.

A popular method is the IDEAL (Identify, Define, Explore, Act, Look) model, outlined by Bransford and Stein in their book, The Ideal Problem Solver, in 1984. It has since undergone various tweaks and modifications for different purposes. Read on to learn how you can use this model to identify the focus of an issue and tackle the most important part.

Why this Strategy will Help when you Become an Office Administrator

An employee is more valuable when they bring solutions to the table, rather than adding problems. Office administrators are trusted with tasks involving human relations, record-keeping, organization, and more – all of which require sharp judgement and good solutions. Taking on projects independently is a fulfilling opportunity for administrators and the more you show your problem-solving skills, the more likely you are to be given these responsibilities. You’ll gain respect from your colleagues and will be able to show off your skills beyond office administration training, demonstrating your worth in the real world with all of its unpredictability.

become an office administrator

Presenting solutions to your manager will show them how valuable you are

Use your Career Training to Identify Problems and Opportunities

A positive attitude is easier when approaching problems with the mindset of opportunity. The first step in the IDEAL model is “Identify”, using facts and information to isolate the root issue at hand. A common example is a leaky roof in the office, where instead of placing a bucket under the leak we would identify that the root issue is a hole in the roof that needs to be fixed before it causes more complications. This might point to an opportunity to check for other holes in the roof or make more repairs (and as an administrator, it would give you an opportunity to step up outside of your day-to-day duties and show leadership). The next step, “Define”, calls for describing potential solutions and strategies, and choosing what will work best using the third step, “Evaluate”. Thinking of pros and cons can help when trying to choose from a list of possible solutions.

become an office administrator

Seeing challenges as opportunities helps you maintain a positive attitude and enjoy your work

IDEAL Leaves Room for Re-Evaluation to Ensure you Chose the Right Issue

The final two steps of the IDEAL model are “Act” and “Look”. After evaluating your options and choosing the best solution, acting on that strategy means using your career training and soft skills combined to apply that solution. After you’ve acted, the “Look” stage encourages you to look back on what you’ve done, see if it worked and learn from the experience. At this point, if the solution didn’t work, you apply what you’ve learned to revise your strategy and try again. Giving yourself time to slow down and evaluate your work will make you a more efficient administrator in the end and keep you learning new things for the duration of your career.

Do you want to become an office administrator?

Contact KLC College for more information.

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