Do you want to know how to do problem solving?
If you do, then you are at the right place.
Problems occur in our home, business, relationships, etc.
If we are not able to resolve them, they could cause dire consequences.
Therefore, the ability to solve problems comes in handy for every human.
However, not everybody knows how to do problem solving.
Hence, in this article, we would help you to correct this.
We will be doing this by sharing vital information on how to do problem solving.
To begin, we will be looking closely at what problem solving is…
What is Problem Solving? – How to Do Problem Solving
The term ‘problem-solving’ is self-explanatory.
However, we will still explain it better.
Problem solving is the process or act of defining problems, determining their cause, and finding solutions to them.
Simply put, problem solving is the process or act of generating a solution to a problem.
Knowing how to do problem solving will come in handy in your business and personal aspects of your life.
Skills Needed to Do Problem Solving – How to Do Problem Solving
For you to effectively do problem solving or solve problems, you need to possess some skills.
You can attempt to solve problems without these skills.
However, the result you get would not be as good as when you have these skills.
Also, having these skills makes problem solving very easy for you.
Hence, these skills are important.
If you do not have them, then you can work to develop them.
For you to develop them, you have to know them.
Hence, we will share with you the skills needed to do problem solving and provide you with tips on how to develop them.
When doing problem solving, you need to analyze the problem.
Hence, analytical skills are needed.
They enable you to understand problems or situations and come up with ideas that can serve as a solution.
Also, analytical skills help one to differentiate between ineffective and effective solutions.
You can develop analytical skills by:
- Playing new games
- Teaching others
- Consciously analyzing your surroundings
- Learning new things
- Reading more
Creative Thinking – How to Do Problem Solving
Creative thinking helps you to think out of the box.
It helps you to come up with ideas.
You need creative thinking when doing problem solving.
This is because it makes it easier for you to brainstorm and come up with solutions to problems.
You can develop yourself to think creatively by:
- Thinking ‘what if’ (make up questions about things)
- Overcoming negative thinking
- Challenging and believing yourself
- Looking for inspiration
- Accept new possibilities
When solving problems, you need to understand that the situation can change at any time.
Hence, flexibility skills are needed.
It allows you to accept the change that comes, and figure out how to make use of that change to your benefit.
This way, you would not be stuck trying to solve a problem with a changed situation.
Some ways you can develop flexibility skills include:
- Being open-minded
- Staying calm
- Planning ahead
- Being optimistic
- Focusing on your main values
Research Skills – How to Do Problem Solving
When doing problem solving, you might need to do research concerning the problem.
This would help you to understand the problem better.
Hence, research skills are needed.
They enable you to effectively research and get the right information.
Some things you can do to research better are:
- Stay organized
- Define your research topic (have an outline of what you are researching)
- Verify your source
- Recognize your information source quality
Lateral thinking is the ability that allows one to use creative, indirect, or unusual approaches to solve problems.
It is the ability to make use of one’s imagination to see a problem in a new way and come up with new solutions.
Lateral thinking helps you to come up with new ideas in a rather structured way.
Meanwhile, creative thinking helps to see different possibilities.
Hence, when solving problems, creative thinking and lateral thinking works hand-in-hand.
It makes problem solving easier.
You can develop lateral thinking skills by:
- Identifying limiting cognition
- Playing puzzle games
- Developing mind maps
- Adopting different perspectives
Resilience – How to Do Problem Solving
You have to understand that solving problems is not easy.
Frustration and failure might come when solving a problem.
The ability to keep pushing till you get a solution that will effectively solve that problem is needed.
This is where resilience comes in.
In other words, you need resilience when solving problems.
You can develop yourself to be resistant by:
- Learning to relax
- Practicing thought awareness
- Maintaining perspective
- Learning from failures and mistakes
- Choosing your response
- Building self-confidence
- Editing your outlook
When solving problems, you might come up with different ideas to solve a problem.
Analytical skills will help you to know the ineffective and effective ones.
However, you would still need to choose one solution from the effective ones.
This is where the ability to make decisions comes in.
If you lack decision-making skills, it might be difficult for you to choose from your alternative or options.
So, decision-making skills are needed when solving problems.
Some things you can do to develop decision-making skills include:
- Limiting your choices
- Weighing your options
- Being assertive
- Making plans
- Setting deadlines
Remember that when you develop these skills, doing problem solving will become easier, and you will be able to achieve better results.
Check here to discover the importance of business decision making.
Steps on How to Do Problem Solving
You know the skills that you need to do problem solving.
Hopefully, you will work to develop them.
As we said, it will make solving problems easier for you.
However, you have to understand that problem solving is a process that requires certain steps to be taken.
If you do not know these steps and do not follow them when solving problems, you would find it difficult to solve problems.
Yes, this is true, even if you possess those required skills.
Hence, you need to know these steps.
We want you to achieve success as you do problem solving.
Hence, we will share these steps with you.
1. Keep a Positive Outlook
Whenever problems arise, they tend to get to us and make us panic or start going through several bad scenarios.
Now, you have to understand that this will not help the problem go away; neither will it allow you to find a solution to the problem.
Hence, you have to avoid becoming discouraged or being negative when problems arise.
What you ought to do is to stay calm and think of a positive way to approach the situation.
Yes, it might be challenging but it is the best way to handle a problem.
Understand that if you want to solve a problem, you have to think positively.
If you cannot think positively, you would be stuck in negativity and unable to come up with a workable solution.
A positive outlook will increase your confidence and ability to handle the problem and avoid complicating the issue.
2. Define and Understand the Problem – How to Do Problem Solving
When you have been able to create a positive outlook on the situation or problem, the next thing you need to do is to define it.
What we mean is that you need to get to know what is going on.
Identify what the issue or problem is, and how it is causing issues for you.
Also, get to know what is causing the problem.
In case you cannot find out what is causing the problem on your own, then you should ask other people involved before moving on.
When working in a group, ensure everybody works together to define the problem.
Do not hesitate to have it written and rewritten until the problem has been correctly and clearly defined.
3. Look at the Situation/ Problem from Different View Points
To get solutions to problems, you have to be ready to think broadly.
You have to look at problems from different viewpoints or directions before you can start thinking of solutions.
Also, you have to think and see if other issues are fueling up the problem.
If they are, then you would have to address them first.
You have to discard the idea or notion that problems have only one factor fueling them.
This will help you to identify factors that are contributing to that situation.
Listen to people’s perceptions about the situation and improve your viewpoint of the situation.
When you see things from all points, it would not be unexpected when the situation changes or something else relating to it happens.
4. Brainstorm Possible Solutions – How to Do Problem Solving
The next step is to brainstorm for solutions to your problem.
It is in this step that your creative and lateral thinking comes to play.
By now, you would have looked at the situation or problem from different angles; this would help you to generate different solutions.
Understand that there is usually more than one solution to a problem.
So, do not limit yourself.
Your first idea might not be your best one.
So, get creative and think up more solutions.
Do not be surprised when you come up with several ideas after brainstorming.
If you are having issues coming up with an idea while brainstorming, you should try considering what the best solution will be.
Figure out what you want your result to be.
Think of what you have to do to achieve this result.
This will inspire you to generate creative and unique ideas.
5. Chose Your Best Solution
After brainstorming possible solutions you need to figure out what the best solution will be.
Your best solution has to be one that would produce your desire or the best result.
If you have several possible solutions, it would be a little difficult.
However, you should know that not all these solutions would be effective.
So, you need to narrow them down to only the effective ones.
This way, it would be easier for you to pick the best one.
To narrow your options and pick the best one, you should:
- Write out all your possible solutions
- Consider the ones that would effectively resolve the problem
- Compare the assumed results of each of the effective solutions to your ideal result
- Figure out which of the effective solutions’ results best match your ideal result.
- Then check again if the solution that matches your idea result will effectively solve your problem.
At the end of this evaluation, you should be able to get your best solution.
6. Brace Yourself – How to Do Problem Solving
Yes, you have to keep a positive outlook while doing problem solving.
However, before you get excited about solving the problem with your best solution, you have to consider the consequences the solution can bring.
It is in this step you can allow those worst scenarios to play.
However, you are only doing this to prepare you for the result of the solution and not to discourage you.
So, ask yourself this question ‘what would happen if my solution fails?’
When you answer that question, it would help you to brace yourself and prepare for failure if it happens.
Understand that if failure should occur, it is not the end.
Rather use it to learn how to do things better the next time and try a different approach.
Fortunately, you have your list of solutions with you.
So, just go back to it and get the next good solution.
Remember that your positive outlook will help you to achieve success.
Therefore, you should be resilient and not allow setbacks to get to you.
7. Fix a Deadline
Determine when you would implement your solution, a timeline for it to be completed, and when the results should be expected.
Also, get to know the actions to take that would enable you to meet the deadline.
If you are not the one who will implement the solution, then get to know who will.
Fixing a deadline will help you to stay focused and disciplined towards solving that problem.
As you fix a deadline, you should also set standards that would help you to measure the solution’s success.
In other words, how would know if you are making progress?
Figure out what your success measurement would be, and track your progress.
Also, do not forget to fix your deadline.
8. Put Your Solution into Action – How to Do Problem Solving
After fixing a deadline and ways to track your progress, you should put your solution into action.
That is, start implementing your solution.
Understand that not all problems can be easily solved.
You might encounter some obstacles or challenges as you work to solve your problem.
You should anticipate some of these obstacles and already have a quick fit for them.
Or if you cannot fix them, you can think of how to avoid them and keep working toward solving your problem.
During this period, you might get frustrated and sometimes low on energy.
However, you should keep implementing your action and pushing on till you get your desired result.
9. Track Your Progress
As you walk to get your result, you have to have to track your progress.
Check if what you are still on track or have derailed and if you are moving on the pace that would help you meet your deadline.
If you are dragging behind, then work to get yourself moving at the right pace.
Check to see if you are doing the right things.
If you are, and you are sure that it would not help you get your result, then you might need to figure out what is wrong.
When you figure out what is wrong, think of ways to fix it and get back on track.
10. Check Your Result – How to Do Problem Solving
At this step, you are done with executing your solution.
Now, you have to examine the result.
Is it what you wanted?
Has the problem been resolved?
Did you finish in time?
If your answers are yes, then you have achieved success and your method of solving problems is good.
However, if you did not, then you would have to try again.
That is, you have to try out another solution that would solve that problem.
Yes, this might discourage you, but as we said, you need resilience when doing problem solving.
So, go back to the options you have and find out the next best solution.
If you are not satisfied with that option, you can try brainstorming another solution.
Understand that to achieve success, you have to be resilient.
What Do You Do When You Cannot Solve the Problem? – How to Do Problem Solving
As you work to resolve a problem, you have to be positive, resilient, and also realistic.
In other words, when you have tried and tried again to solve a problem and it is not working, then you have to be realistic with yourself.
The bitter truth is that what you are doing is not working.
Now, you feel so sure that everything you are doing is right but still, you are not getting the desired result or solving the problem.
At this point, you have to be real with yourself, instead of pushing on with no positive result.
Do not get beaten yourself up because you have not been able to resolve the problem after several attempts.
Rather, you need to figure out what to do.
There are two options.
You can either take a break from trying to solve that problem or do other things.
Maybe why you haven’t been able to solve the problem is because you are low on energy.
So, stay away for a while, and then go back to tackling the problem with a refilled energy, perspective, and so on.
Or you can enlist the help of someone else and work together to resolve the situation.
This option is better because it provides you with support and someone who would be viewing the situation with fresh eyes.
Conclusion on How to Do Problem Solving
Doing problem solving requires creativity, resilience, analytical thinking, etc.
In this article, we have discussed the steps that you would need to take when doing problem solving.
So, we hope that it is of help.