Being an Engineer is more than just a profession. Engineers are professional problem solvers. It’s all in how you think and analyze the world around you. We’ve all heard that thinking like an Entrepreneur is best, but we’d argue that thinking like an Engineer is what will really take you to new heights. Here are 5 ways to think like an Engineer and become a problem solver in your career and everyday life.
1.Keep things simple
The first step to thinking like an Engineer is to keep things simple. The best design is the simplest design. Getting to the root of the problem is key. The more difficult is it to use, the more easily it will break. So before you attempt to make things complicated, think about the simplest way to create the best solution. The same principle applies to life and business. Be sure you not making things more complicated than they need to be. When troubleshooting, always think what’s the best way to solve this problem. Then, once you understand the best way to solve it, think about the simplest way to make that happen.
2. Be resourceful
Engineers understand that to every problem there is a solution. Some require creating a solution, others just require a new perspective to what is actually needed to reach the point of success. Either way it is understood you are never out of resources, just out of resourcefulness. To overcome this easily overlooked obstacle, how about testing out a new way of thinking. It’s easy to feel stuck, but Engineers are constantly thinking outside the box. They say the best ideas are born from trying to solve a problem we couldn’t agree more.
3. Calculate the risk
“The greater the risk, the greater the reward” -Unknown
This quote is one that many Entrepreneurs live by. Engineers see it differently. You can still have a great reward with calculated risks. We take in all the information, analyze all the data, anticipate cost, time, materials needed, and so on; before making big decisions. Understanding what is at stake, doesn’t minimize the reward. In fact, we’d argue understanding what is at stake makes the reward that much greater.
Becoming an Engineer boils down to one thing – Curiosity. We are curious about how stuff works. It can be illustrated in the early stages by the desire to break things apart, only to put it back together. Some may see it as nerdy. This is a term nearly every Engineer has heard at least one time in their life, but we see it as brilliance. Curiosity is the one thing that never goes out of style. The need for understanding is a strong tool that more people should embrace. Get to the solution by understanding where the problem was first created. You will always see a trend, the problem didn’t just arise. It was a slow series of events. Reverse Engineer or work backwards to see where the problem began. This helps guarantee that your new design doesn’t have the same issue(s) as the initial design.
5. Never Be Afraid To Ask Questions
Engineering is all about asking questions to best understand the desired outcome. It takes the guesswork out of the equation. Too often, people are afraid to ask the necessary questions, or even worse don’t know what questions to ask. Questions are another tool in the engineering tool belt. Asking questions now leads to fewer assumptions later. Fewer assumptions later, lead to better results. Better results lead to fewer reoccurring issues later. Fewer reoccurring issues later lead to peace of mind.