Problem-solving, critical and creative thinking go hand-in-hand helping us to see the world from numerous vantage points. Each of these ways of thinking strengthens our ability to intelligently and flexiblly comprehend things when faced with the never-ending problems that life throws our ways.
Great problem solvers are great thinkers. They have fewer problems and drama to begin with, and do not get overly emotional when confronted with a problem. They typically see problems as life experiences and challenges and try standing above them objectively.
Following these steps will help you become a master problem solver.
- Identify The Problem– identifying the right problem to work on is usually where people fall. It is not as easy as you might think. For instance, a company may face revenue issues due to numerous reasons. Asking the right questions and being a smart detective assist you in zeroing in on the present problem with accuracy. A good problem solver will ask a lot of questions regarding the problem, rather than guessing them and making a rash decision about it.
- List All The Obstacles – problems are rarely isolated. Some fixes can trigger undesirable chain reactions in other departments or processes. Master problem solvers take a high-level outlook of the issues involved and prepare a list of all the possible aspects that could get in the way of a solution. Then they can reach out to the issue in a detailed manner with a higher understanding and rate of success.
- Remain Objective – usually, problems arise because people are oblivious to what’s actually happening with the process. They get too caught up on a specific goal or method and then they inadvertently disregard what may be evident warning signs. Expert problem solvers approach every new problem as though it were brand new. That way they implement a particular solution to the problem instead of a fix that might go only halfway.
- Prevent Problems More Than Intervening Them – good problem solvers possess an array of skills to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. They typically face less conflict, drama, and nerve-wracking situations since they have very clear boundaries, don’t get their rights violated and don’t violate other’s rights. They are more of optimists so they are naturally surrounded with more positivity and have more energy to be more productive.
- Spend more time defining the problem than spinning solutions.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” – Albert Einstein
Ask questions and then think of more questions to ask. Never assume you have all the data. Keep looking for more rocks to uncover and trees to look around.
Decide Consulting is a software and IT Staffing firm based in Houston, TX. Founded by veteran software consultants, Decide has developed proprietary methods for finding problem-solving IT personnel. Our Software products focus on the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) and Healthcare markets.