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Problem Solving Skills

Problem Solving Skills

Problem Solving Skills

Problem solving is the ultimate skill, because the prosperity of any organisation depends on the ability to solve, and profit from, their problems.

Problem solving can sometimes be a function of an individual mind working alone, or multiple minds working in collaboration.

Problem solving can occur in a momentary flash of inspiration, or it may be an evolution of ideas, made over many years of effort.

Problem solving may be a step by step, structured logical process, or it may be as a free association of creative minds.

Develop problem solving skills.

Whenever you are facing a problem or lack of progress, your ability to analyse the situation, discover its causes and come up with a suitable solution, are vital to your success.

1. Define the Problem

The problem is the gap that exists between "the current situation", and "the desired situation". Your definition should include a full description of both.

The solution to the problem is finding how to bridge the gap.

2. Gather the Facts

The facts are irrespective of what you want, like, dislike or know about. Facts are facts. Many problems that people talk about, are imaginary. It is important not to waste time on imaginary problems.

3. Identification

Everything has origins. If we want to understand a problem, we must investigate its origins. Where, when and how did this problem start? Who did what and why?

It is important to understand the chronological sequence of events. Effects never precede causes. We need to uncover the sequence of causes and effects.

If we know the problem's origins, we may gather some valuable information on how best to tackle it.

4. Evaluation

Now you have correctly identified the facts, you must now evaluate the facts. You can evaluate facts according to two basic alternatives: logical evaluation, or illogical.

Logical evaluations may be of three types: analytic, synthetic or creative.

It is recommended that you strive to make a logical evaluation of all the available facts.

5. Response and Implementation

As a result of your logical evaluation of the facts, you will make a response. Your response may be of two types.

  • Adaptive: where the response is appropriate and progressive.
  • Mal-adaptive: where the response is inappropriate and regressive.

Every action requires resources. Therefore, your action plan will require you assemble physical, financial, technological and human resources.

The corrective plan must be put in writing and quickly communicated to all those who need to know.

6. Monitor the Feedback Results

Once you have put your corrective plan into action, the results must be monitored. The problem will be reduced, but may not be eliminated, in which case you must return to step one.

Problem Solving Questions

1. What are the facts of the case?
2. How do we know? What is our evidence?
3. What is the nature of the thing we are dealing with?
4. What do these facts mean to us?
5. What should be our adaptive response?

Problem Solving Training

Our in-house Problem Solving training course will give your staff the knowledge and confidence to handle problems successfully.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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