Managers, supervisors, colleagues, and clients will ask you to solve problems for them throughout your career. When you solve a problem for someone else, you assume the responsibility for developing efficient solution, the problem owners.

Stakeholders are people who are also affected or whose involvement you need to resolve the matter. Involve the problem owners and stakeholders as you begin to work.

Six Steps of engagement

1. Solicit input from the problem owners

Start by asking the problem owners for advice and listening carefully to the explanation of the problem. Treat their explanation and suggestions as possible alternatives, however, because of the problem owners do not always see the root cause of the problem. Get choices from someone else.

2. Recognize opinions and assumptions

The opinions and assumptions that your problem owners, stakeholders, and other important people hold are important factors in the success of your solution. Tactfully recognize the biases, agendas, and motivations that each might hold.

3. Communicate your progress clearly

Communicate regularly with problem owners and stakeholders. Use all possible media tools for collaboration like emails, memo and other documents. Be sure you have logged your conversations for future reference. Frequently, though not overwhelming, communications avoid surprising a problem owner and stakeholder.

4. Do your homework regularly

Establish the credibility of your work by pursuing each step systematically. Demonstrate that you have worked through the problem in a methodological and thorough manner. Be objective on your communication, both written and oral. Make sure the problem owner is confident about your approach.

5. Provide choices

Selecting one choice from many increases the sense of ownership, so present problem owners with options and ask them to select one or two. Recommend the best solution along with the one or two alternatives. Present the pros and cons of each and let them decide for final decision.

6. Promote your solution

After solving a problem effectively, promote your efforts and results to the problem owners and stakeholders with persuasive report and powerful presentation.