Problem Solving: Solve Problems with Ease
Life throws you a curve ball. It happens. Pretty much every day. It is what you do with the curve-ball that helps define who you are and how you will succeed in life and work. So how can you successfully approach problem solving? Each personality type may react to problems in a slightly different way, and some may need more time than others to come to a workable solution, but if you follow these steps, it’ll help give you some structure (and a path to follow) for your problem solving efforts.
The Problem Solving Process:
- Identify the problem: This is the most important part of the process. Occasionally what you are trying to solve is not the true problem. Pinpoint the true problem and not just the surface issues that resulted from the true problem.
- Brainstorm: take time to analyze “why” this problem has occurred and begin to strategize efforts to fix it. I like to brainstorm with a partner, and no matter how “off the wall” the ideas may be, it can lead you onto a new creative solution that you may not have thought of alone. Every person has their own unique strengths and viewpoints and experiences, utilize a trusted partner or co-worker to help lend alternative or out of the box suggestions.
- Involve others, if you need to: Depending on the severity of the issue, you may need to involve someone sooner (or not at all). So keep this in mind when brainstorming.
- Decide/implement the plan: Make an educated decision/plan based on identifying the true problem and your brainstorming efforts. Once you’ve made the decision you are comfortable with then roll it out.
- Measure your results: How did you do? Did you solve the problem? If you didn’t – it can be 1 of 2 things that you need to review…you may not have identified the true problem, or your plan did not successfully address the true problem (or both).
Problems are sometimes a great thing, they can present you with a unique opportunity to try something new or forge a new path forward. Problem solving is a process, and the process may be shorter for certain people and longer for more detail-orientated people (like me!). It’s also a “loop”, when things do work out to a successful conclusion on your first attempt, start back at step 1 and try to learn from your previous attempt. Don’t let the weight of a problem bring your efforts to a grinding halt, follow the steps above to come to a plan of action and test it out. Even if your plan fails, you’ll have tried something new and are one step closer to solving your issue.
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