Problem Solving Skills


What is the problem?

A problem is generally a chore, an affair, or a person that might be tough to handle or manage owing to convolution. A task that gives rise to doubt and unpredictability, which is difficult to fathom and resolve, is a problem. 

What is problem-solving?

Problem-solving skills help you understand the origin of a problem and find a fruitful solution for it. Problem-solving is often recognized as a distinct skill, but other related skills also contribute to this ability.

Why problem-solving skills?

Problem-solving is crucial both to individuals and organizations because it allows us to exert control over our domain. Problem-solving helps us understand why there is a flaw in these things and how to fix them. 

Six steps to problem-solving

  • Identify the issues

 A problem can be thought of as a difference between the existing situation and the expected situation. This means that to recognize a problem, you must know where it is supposed to be and have a proper perception of where it stands presently in accordance with the perceived problem.

  • Make sure you understand and have a clear idea of what the problem is.
  • Not everyone will perceive the problem the same way you; every individual will have a different understanding of it.
  • List out your issues and interests separately.

2. Understand everyone’s interests.

Interest is a requirement you need to arrive at your solution. We neglect our interest more often than not, as we are too focused on only one possible solution. 

  • The best solution always takes everyone’s interests into regard.
  • Active listening is key to understanding everyone’s interests. This is the time for active listening. 
  • Make separate lists of interests and potential solutions.

3. List the possible solutions 

  • Brainstorm. Get creative with your ideas.
  • Note down and pick a few of the best possible ideas for the solution.

4. Evaluate the options.

  • Tally the positives and negatives of the solution.

5. Select an option or options.

  • Try to figure out what the best option is.
  • Look for a way to merge two potential solutions to get the best possible outcome.

6. Document the agreement(s)

  • The memory will not always help you; make a note of what you have decided.
  • Writing it down helps you brush through all the attributes and implications as you please.

Also see: Data Mining vs Data Analytics

Types of problem-solving

  • Creativity

Problems are usually solved either comprehensively or by relying on their intuition. People use intuition when there is no need for new knowledge– you rely on your past experience to make a decision. Problems you haven’t experienced before or are more challenging to solve will need to be solved logically and systematically. For this, creativity is necessary. Brainstorm through all the potential solutions you have in mind and think about how to put them to use.

  • Researching Skills 

Understanding and solving a problem often requires research. Your research can range from a simple Google search to a more systematic and detailed research project.

  • Team Working

Sometimes you get the best solutions with the advice of others. Take others’ inputs into consideration. This applies not only to the office but to everyone’s home too. Everyone has a different understanding of the problem; make sure you hear what they have to say.

  • Emotional Intelligence

The impact of a problem and its solution on a person is definitely worth considering. The emotional quotient and the ability to recognize emotions are a great help in reaching a suitable solution.

  • Risk Management

There is always an iota of risk involved in solving a problem. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what is at stake and improvise your solution accordingly.

  • Decision Making

Solving a problem relies heavily on decision-making skills. In fact, decision-making is at the core of the process involving problem-solving. You will be open to various possible solutions and options; choosing the right one is of utmost importance.

In every profession, problem-solving skills are a ‘must-have’. Professionals like Project Manager, Business Analyst, etc., need to be proficient in this skill as they continuously need to manage problems and arrive at a suitable solution.

Problems need not be perceived as something scary. They are only a response to your current situation. Problems tell you that something you’ve done is not working out in the best way and hinting to you that there may be a better way to go about it. Approach a problem with an open mind. Focus on defining the problem and try not complicating the situation. Keep calm and let the solution come to you. Check out other Courses also at adaptive us like CBAP, CCBA, ECBA.