Problem Solving: Skills to help you manage your problems

Problem solving skills

Definition of Problem Solving

Problem Solving refers to the process of identifying a problem, alternative solutions, and choosing the best solution to solve the problem. Everyone faces problems multiple times in their lives. Each day presents itself with a new problem or challenge to be solved. This lesson identifies ways of identifying a problem and how to solve such problems effectively.

Problems that Require Solutions

The first step in learning about problems is to identify the key problem areas than need to be addressed. Some of the areas in which people face problems in their everyday lives include:

  • Concerns in the school, e.g. poor performance
  • Problems experienced at home
  • Peer influence
  • Conflicts in relationships
  • Business challenges such as lack of capital
  • Diseases and injuries
  • Political conflicts
  • Financial problems

Causes of Problems

The first step in problem solving is always to identify the causes of the problem. Identifying causes of problems is helps the problem solver to develop relevant solutions to the problems. Some of the possible causes of problems in one’s life include:

  • Failure to make the right choice
  • Inability to make the right decisions
  • Peer pressure
  • Drug and substance abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sickness
  • Hunger
  • Orphanhood

Methods of Solving Problems

The methods and steps of solving problems is pretty much like the steps used in decision making. In order to live well and achieve one’s dreams, it is necessary to find solutions to problems as they occur. Here are the most common steps used in solving problems:

  • Identifying the problem
    • Gather information to differentiate between facts and opinions
    • Identify the root causes of the problem
    • Consult all relevant parties when collecting information
    • Clearly define/state the problem
    • Identify the expectation or standard that has been violated
    • Identify the process related to the problem
    • Don’t solve problems without having enough data
  • Identify alternative solutions and evaluate each of them
    • Evaluate alternative solutions based on the expected outcome or standard
    • Evaluate all options objectively and without bias
    • Focus on your goals when evaluating alternatives
  • Select the best solution that has the most advantages and results
    • Think critically when selecting your solution
    • State the selected choice clearly
    • Make appropriate decisions
  • Implement the selected solution
    • Make a proper plan to implement your solution
    • Gather feedback from multiple stakeholders
    • Seek acceptance or consensus among all stakeholders
    • Develop ways of measuring and monitoring progress

Values necessary for Solving Problems

  • Responsibility
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Love

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