How Do You Deal With Problems?
Do you have a problem solving formula or method? If you were much like me several years ago, you would probably jump right in and get started. Others will withdraw from the problem and avoid it. Problems can be easy to solve, and others can fester. Most of the time you and I use experience and knowledge to help us get past trying moments. We do not think much of it. There is a more efficient approach when we look at the problem first and take a strategic approach.
What Is On Your Heart?
What do you do when your efforts flop or the opinion of others does not work? You cannot figure out what is inhibiting your success. Your not sure what is missing. Something needs to change but your not entirely sure what? A problem continues to challenge you or won’t go away. You become frustrated and may be at the point of giving up.
Most problems are easy to solve if we listen, ask questions and respond realistically. It might seem pretty simple, and yet it is. Most of the time we allow ourselves to get in the way. When problems arrive, we get in a hurry to solve them and need to slow down. When we speed up, we begin to miss information or fail to realize our bias is what contributed to the problem. Then can we identify the facts or the cause.
Understand The Problem
Understanding the problem with clarity can be difficult when our opinions and assumptions get in our way. Most problems will elevate the state of emotions which blocks you from seeing the controllable factors to every problem. Identify what the problem is first by asking who, what, when, where? When you understand the problem, you can begin to ask what you missed.
You will continue to gather all the facts you can. Ask yourself things like, How did others contribute and How did you contribute? Stick to the clear and substantial facts that contributed to the problem. Stay away from irrelevant information. Weigh the facts and determine if the evidence is for or against each piece. If you like the game of Clue, this is a lot of it. You are eliminating the things that don’t hold true.
Minimize The Bias
There is one thing you need to be aware of when gathering your facts and evidence. We have a habit of only seeking information that confirms what we believe to be true. This habit is called the confirmation bias. Have you ever heard someone say, “Johnny is a good boy he would never do that?” That is confirmation bias. The image or reputation in the mind does not line up with what is presented to them. We all do this every day, many times a day. To fight confirmation bias think on it, ask others and be fair when trying to prove the information true or false. Research indicates that when we get background information and include a range of experiences and opinions we can defeat bias.
When you get here, you will start to see how each piece of evidence in the problem solving model contributes to the problem. You will also begin to see what you can and cannot control. Now we want to start trying to be creative by figuring out what we can do to solve the problem.
Gather Your Evidence And Present Solutions
List as many solutions to the problem as you can. Even if it sounds wild or unlikely go ahead and list it. Try to be as specific as possible. It will take some creativity and brainstorming. Here are some tips to keep in mind. When brainstorming take breaks, pay attention to all ideas, don’t rush, stay persistent, and use technology to help you process and prevent loss of ideas.
When it comes down to making the decision, you should weigh the pros and cons of each decision. Think about the personal, social, short-term, long-term, chances of success and if it can be done realistically. When making decisions, you can be faced with challenges and obstacles such as misunderstanding the problem or making mistakes during the process. Wasting time on weighing the issue, procrastination, and trivializing your decision. All decisions involve risk, and so does this one. Remain optimistic and make the choice you feel can do the best job.
Optimism Is Key In Problem Solving
Remaining confident during the process, you can overcome any negative thinking and hurdles. Problems are common every day and by fighting back with facts, hope and being realistic, you can overcome any problem you set the mind to solving. Some problems can be predicted and prevented others cannot. You may have faced similar challenges before. If you orient yourself towards the problem, discuss it, make a decision, implement and remain optimistic you will do just fine.