As little kids, we’re taught to solve problems by trial and error. That is a fine approach if the problem is as simple as a changing a burned out light bulb. When the problem is a clutter of technical, business and political problems, we need something different that helps us untangle the mess. Such bigger problem can’t be approached by trial and error except you’re some kind of genius.
Luckily, there are other smart ways to solve your problems. Many simple and necessary concepts in problem solving seem obvious but are often overlooked, causing delays and frustration in getting important problems solved. Here are some tips and reminders that will help you solve problems quickly and easily.
1. DEFINE THE PROBLEM FIRST.
As the saying goes, “a problem known is a problem half solved.” State what the problem is, what went wrong? what are the warning signs? what is the impact on your life? Write it down. Everyone who reads it should understand what the problem is and why it’s important. At this stage it is important to know that you are describing the problem, not what you will do to fix it.
2. FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT PROBLEMS.
Not every problem needs solving, there are some more pressing than others. If you ask yourself, “what will happen if I don’t solve this problem?” and the answer is, “not much,” then turn your attention to something more important.
3. UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM.
Understanding the problem involves knowing some important facts. Ask yourself some essential questions; what is the cause of the problem? How could it have been avoided? How long has it persisted? And how is it affecting me? Answering these questions will help you understand the problems and you will know the best approach to take.
“As change is constant, so are the problems of life.” _Steve Roberts.
4. LAY OUT YOUR PLANS.
At this point you have a layout of your plans for solving the problem,putting everything into consideration. The key question to answer is, “How will you know when the problem is solved?” You can have more than one plan because some might not work out. Test your plans about proposed solutions to the problems to improve your chances of actually solving them.
5. ASK FOR ASSISTANCE.
When approaching problem solving, it is important to make use of all the weapons in your arsenal, that includes asking for help from others. Many people tend to overlook this supportive and useful means of solving problems. They fear that they might look weak. You might be surprised at the way a little help from someone can go a long way to help you solve your problems.
Problems have become part of our everyday life. We encounter them in our day-to-day activities, so it would be great to know how to go about solving them in a calm and controlled manner.