Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Techniques for Administrative Assistants

Administrative Assistant Resource
August 24, 2012 — 9,131 views  
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Regardless of an employee's position at a company, he or she will face plenty of situations that require extraordinary problem-solving and decision-making skills. This is especially true in customer service situations, and from a professional standpoint, administrative assistants and professionals must come to work prepared to act authoritatively and confidently.

If you are looking to brush up on your problem-solving ability, consider the following tips to boost your confidence and aid your decision-making.

Break a decision down into steps

According to FlexStudy, there are nine steps to a problem-solving process. An administrative professional must:

1.) Recognize an existing problem and acknowledge the possibility of a solution.

2.) Analyze the situation.

3.) Identify certain intangibles and worry points.

4.) Brainstorm for solutions.

5.) Gather expert opinions and compare them with the particular work environment.

6.) Choose a specific strategy.

7.) Devise a plan for strategy implementation.

8.) Execute said plan.

9.) Follow up and survey individuals to see how effective the solution was.

By adhering to these nine steps, any significant problem can be solved in a timely manner. In many cases, a situation might seem extraordinarily complex, but upon division into these phases, a simple solution might jump out immediately.


Once you have outlined a series of possible solutions, the tough part is making a confident decision. Sometimes, it can be like choosing between apples and oranges - both could lead to the same end product (satisfying hunger), but the way they taste is different.

The same can be said of an administrative problem. Perhaps you need to clear an executive's schedule on a certain day - what do you remove to make room for the additional event?

The key to decision-making is confidence, and this is true in any leadership profession. As the person "in charge," you will eventually have to take responsibility for your actions, and constantly second-guessing yourself will only lead to failure down the line. Therefore, you need to thoroughly research your decision beforehand so you'll remain confident as time passes.

Finally, remember that nobody is perfect. Napoleon made the mistake of invading Russia, and though he didn't learn from his mistakes, you will learn from yours. If you follow the aforementioned nine steps and remain confident, you'll be making critical, successful decisions in no time at all.

Administrative Assistant Resource