Making decisions

Proactive problem-solving before taking action

Now that you're creating your action plan and that you're setting your daily, weekly and monthly goals, it's important to think about potential problems you may encounter when implementing your plan. It's about identifying things that could be done more effectively.

The dictionary defines proactive as: "tending to initiate change rather than reacting to events"

A systematic process to problem-solving

This Seven-Step Problem-Solving technique (from The Happy Manager) is a framework to follow in order to avoid common mistakes, for example jumping to a solution too quickly, solving the wrong problem, implementing solutions that are inappropriate etc

Here are the suggested steps:

  • Find the right problem to solve
  • Define the problem
  • Analyse the problem
  • Develop possibilities
  • Select the best solution
  • Implement
  • Evaluate and learn

In our library of coaching exercises, we go into further details on each step of proactive problem-solving. To explore this in an interactive way, click here.


1) Try to think of a recent problem you had to deal with as part of your career plan and which remains unsolved.

2) Go through the above list and try to define it more thoroughly.

3) Has this helped to clarify your problem?