Got problems to solve?
Everyone could use knowledge in how to efficiently and effectively solve problems, no matter what your professional or personal situation may be. Solution-based thinking involves the ability to identify, assess and act upon issues that arise in your life. Unfortunately, many of us are lacking the skills to be able to tackle this process well.
However, like most skills, problem-solving can be learned and improved upon. That’s what our time together will focus on over the next month. I’ll share with you knowledge about what problem solving is, an easy process you can implement into your own life and more.
Without a firm grasp as to how to manage issues as they arrive, we’re prone to ignoring things, letting them build up until they end up worse than they were in the first place. This is a damaging cycle that many of us fall into. It’s human nature. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad or flawed person. During our time together throughout this challenge, I hope to show you how an understanding of basic problem-solving skills can help you to be more productive and successful in nearly every aspect of your life.
There are lots of advantages to gaining strong problem-solving skills. Employers look for these abilities in their staff. This is true no matter what your industry or field. When you show you can make decisions under pressure and that you have the ability to follow through, you gain a reputation as someone who is a leader and who is dependable.
Throughout the next month, we’ll look at various aspects of problem-solving, starting with a very basic system that you can refer to as you learn to make this process a part of your everyday experience. We’ll talk about your attitude regarding problems, how to approach them and
to identify which specific issues are truly deserving of your focus.
I’ll also share with you tons of hands-on strategies you can put to immediate use to help you solve the problems you encounter throughout your days. You’ll discover ways you can help yourself, family, friends, co-workers and those around you as you learn to become a more efficient manager of the everyday life issues you encounter.
Let’s get started!
A Very Basic Problem Solving Process
There are lots of approaches to problem-solving out there, and there’s no one right way to go about the process. In fact, I’ll share a more in-depth method with you later in our challenge, but for now I’d like to start with the basics. Knowing a quick and easy method for dealing with problems as you encounter them will get you started. Once you have some practice under your belt, you’ll gain confidence to move onto more in-depth problem-solving methods.
Understand the Problem
In order to get started on the right foot, you must first be sure you understand the problem you’re facing. It’s easy to misinterpret things and to find yourself chasing an issue that isn’t truly relevant. A bit of analysis and thought will save you time and frustration in the long run. Rather than allow the problem to exist as a vague idea in your mind, it’s best to work it out on paper. Jot down some ideas about what the issue at hand may be, how it started, who is involved and what the primary negative effects of the situation may be. These notes will get you thinking in the right direction toward narrowing down and defining your problem. Through this step, you’ll be able to hone in on the main issue so that you can postpone any side problems for later. You don’t want to allow less important issues distract you.
This next step involves using your creativity to generate a list of possible solutions. At this time, it’s not important to analyze these ideas. Simply get them out of your head and onto paper. Who knows what ideas might actually work once you’re able to add analysis and planning to the nix? The purpose here is to obtain as many solutions as possible without dismissing anything.
Analyze Your Solutions
Here’s where the analysis comes into play. This is the part where you get to play detective and to employ your critical thinking skills. Consider the pros and cons of each idea you generated. Be sure to take circumstances into consideration, along with any other relevant criteria. Not every solution will work in every situation. Consider your current life circumstances and how the proposed solution might evolve within this context. This part of the problem-solving process allows you to see which solutions might actually have promise and which might not. Through analysis, you might find that some ideas you would have once ruled out actually have potential under certain conditions, and you can feel more confident in giving them a try.
Choose Your Path
The last step of this simple method is to actually choose and test your solutions. Take a look at the ideas that remain from your analyzing activity. Then rate those from most likely to be effective to least. Finally, give your first idea a try. If it doesn’t work, you can either tweak it a bit by making adjustments or scrap it completely by moving on to give your second plan of choice a try. Revision and revisiting may be required. I’ll elaborate on this in later blog posts.
For now, you have a very basic problem-solving process that should suffice when it comes to practicing these new skills. By implementing this method regularly, you’ll start to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. You’ll soon begin implementing this strategy into your life automatically, leading you to feel much more confident in your ability to come up with solutions that work.