Problem Solving: Some Effective Ways

Problem Solving: the process of finding solutions to difficult or complex issues.
by Mike Corthell

Problems. Who doesn't have any? The dead, maybe. Problems, especially in the workplace can be very expensive, tedious and stressful. The follow ways to handle problems at work can be used in any area of our lives.

''We cannot solve our problems
with the same thinking we used when we created them.''
Albert Einstein

Decision making and problem solving. We all have to do these two things daily in the workplace and in life. But how many of us actually know how? How many of us have had training in problem solving at work? We know we need it to get us through the work day but do we know how to do it effectively? Let's outline some steps to get us thinking about solving and creating opportunities.

Identify the issues.
Be clear about what the problem is.

Understand everyone's interests.
This is a critical step that is usually missing.

List the possible solutions (options)
Two heads are better than one. Do some brainstorming. There is creativity in the air.

Evaluate what you come up with.
Be HONEST! What are the pluses and minuses?

Select an option or multiple ones.
Do pro vs. cons. Balance it all out.

Document it all.
Memory is tricky. Writing it all down will help you think through all the details.

Think about contingency plans.
Plan to monitor what you plan to do and how you will evaluate whether or not your solution(s) is working.

This outline and process can be used in small or large groups, or by just you. Be disciplined and organized. The more difficult and important the problem, the more time you take the better. If you're just trying to decide what to have for dinner you probably don't need to go through all these steps, or do you?

''Difficulties mastered are opportunities won.''
Winston Churchill

Problems are opportunities!! A good human being does what they can