Many times in life, people meet up with difficult problems and/or situations at different stages. Problem-solving is a skill and technique that requires one to practice from young so as to handle the bigger and tougher problems later on, during the adulthood. It is also an important skill at workplace for project work. Thus, problem-solving skill becomes increasingly crucial. Below is a logical approach which could be used to practice with.
1. Identify the problem
Before solving a problem, identifying and understanding it fully is very important. Not identifying it or identifying the wrong one means that one is heading in the wrong direction. This can lead you to a situation whereby the actual problem is not solved and is churning other problems instead. Talk to someone if you are not sure what is your problem. Paraphrases from others will help in understanding it.
Acceptance of a problem allows people to be composed and gives people the ability to think logically on the issue. However, there are people who avoid or run away from problems that they do not want to face. This is because solving a difficult and/or facing a difficult situation may require one to draw courage and faith from within and face it bravely. Procrastination does not help either. Therefore, the first step is to admit that there is a problem, has to be solved and adopting the optimistic approach by accepting the problem will help a great deal.
3. Identify the root cause
After accepting that the difficult problem has to be solved somehow, the root of the problem should be found. How and why the problem arose should be known and avoided in future. In-depth investigation on how the problem could be caused by oneself has to be made.
4. Determine alternatives and impacts
Brainstorming is the best way to look for alternative solutions. Every solution has its own credits and potential. Noting them down is a good way to compare them later on in the solving process. The impact of each solution should be analysized and used to predict what can happen after selecting that particular solution. This is useful later on in the selection process.
5. Select the best alternative(s)
Analysis of all the alternatives should be done. The pros and cons are to be weighed to determine the best alternative. The best alternative is also chosen based on the problem and situation. Even though solving the root cause of a problem is the best situation, but sometimes it is not realistic and practical in certain situations. It is also not realistic to choose only one solution. There could be a combination of solutions for the situation. As a result, be flexible in terms of selecting the best alternative(s).
6. Translate Into Action
A plan is worth nothing if words are not translated into action. Do it diligently and accurately. Ask for advice from people who are experienced in solving this problem or situation to pre-empt any other extra contributing small problems.
Monitor and observe any negative feelings. Look out for situations when negative feelings are felt. Self-Motivation is also important at this stage as frustration could easily build up when things do not proceed according to plans. Do give a pat on your shoulder when things go well.
As a conclusion, every step of the thinking process is crucial. Most important of all is to have a positive outlook. Only with a positive mind that one is strong enough to solve problems, no matter how difficult they would be.