Problem Solving Skills for Winners26/06/2018
Problem solving is a fixture in life. You have to be able to solve problems. Problems pop up every day. Sometimes they are small and sometimes they are large. Sometimes solving a problem is a matter of life and death and other times it is merely a matter of keeping your sanity. Regardless of why you need problem solving, you cannot deny that you need it. If you are a parent, then problem solving is a skill you no doubt could not live without. Children are full of problems and as the parent, it is up to you to help them find the solution. Sometimes you have to be creative because problems that come up can sometimes be quite difficult to solve without a little creative thinking. The same can be said in business. Businesses have plenty of problems and it is up to the employees to find a way to solve those problems.
Again, sometimes simple problem solving techniques just are not going to work because some problems require more problem solving skills. You run into problems every day, from flat tires to saving a failing product line. You are a problem solver and you probably do not even realize it. You should pay attention to your problem solving skills. It is common for people to take problem solving for granted. We do it so much that it is not hard to believe that it becomes second nature. It is this familiarity with problem solving that leads up to take it for granted and to not be creative with our problem solving anymore. If you think about how you solved problems when you were a child, chances are that you were much more creative then. Now you likely go straight to the tried and true methods instead of trying new things.
The problem with this is that taking problem solving for granted can make you a lazy problem solver. You may no longer spend time trying to solve a problem but rather go to a tried and true solution. It may not be the best solution but since you are a lay problem solver, you do not take the time to actually use your problem solving skills to try to come up with a better solution. Problem solving can be an amazing process, but it is up to you to make it that way instead of just something you do because you have to. You have the ability to become a great problem solver, but you have to begin looking at it as an art.
Problem Solving from a Child’s View
As mentioned, children solve problems much differently from adults. That is because children have less skill in problem solving and far less experience with problems and problem solving. The way children solve problems can teach you a lot. A child approaches a problem with an open mind. That is probably not something you do. You probably approach a problem with some preconceived notions about how it is all going to end. You probably come at it with a negative attitude and look at the problem as an annoyance. A child, on the other hand, looks at it as a challenge. They think of a problem as a great mystery and are excited about solving it.
You likely become frustrated when you cannot fix the problem right away. A child will become more excited. They will try different things until they find what works. They will experiment and they will just keep at it until they succeed. Adults are more likely to give up or just ask someone else to do it for them. A child solves problems with wonder, amazement and persistence. Adults want problems to solve themselves because they want to take the time to solve them properly. The difference between how adults and children solve problems speaks volumes about how much we take problem solving for granted. Adults tend to be so worried about the time a problem will take to solve than actually being happy about succeeding at solving a problem. If you can simply apply childlike problem solving techniques, you will find that solving problems becomes easier and more enjoyable. You will begin to be able to see problem solving as an art not an inconvenience.
Aspects of Problem Solving
The art of problem solving involves more than just jumping to the easiest solution. You have to really take time and analyze the problem. You have to come up with various solutions so you can find the perfect solution. You have to really make a conscious effort to solve a problem in a new way or the best way. Here are some aspects of problem solving that you should start to use. You should take these aspects and apply them the next time you have a problem, no matter how big or small it is. You will be able to understand the art of problem solving.
- Being flexible. As mentioned, you have to go beyond your comfort zone. You have to avoid the immediate urge to go to the tried and true. You have to be flexible and willing to try something different. You will never know how great a solution may be if you do not try it.
- Take time to think. You may need to step back and consider the situation before acting. You should brainstorm a little about the different ways you can solve this problem. Look at your options and stop before taking action.
- Ask questions. Part of solving a problem is to create new questions to answer. You may think this is silly and compounding a problem, but really by asking questions you will be led to deeper solutions.
- Look at the problem in a different way. Do not approach the problem as you normally would. Try thinking differently about it. Avoid your natural tendencies. This may be hard at first but once you get used to thinking differently, it will become second nature.
- Think unconventionally. Come up with solutions that make no sense. You might surprise yourself and actually run across an unconventional idea that is the perfect solution to your problem.
By using the ideas enunciated above, and in The Art of Problem Solving, you can begin to start looking at problem solving in a whole new way. You will no longer just jump to the obvious conclusion, but rather be able to really find the perfect solution. All it really involves is stepping back and taking some time. Not all problems must be solved right away. It is those problems that really let you put the art of problem solving to good use.