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Problem Solving

How to become better at solving problems.
Problem solving is the ability to find solutions to problems in situations where emotions are involved, and to understand how emotions impact decision-making. Problem solving is associated with being conscientious, disciplined, methodical, and systematic in persevering and approaching problems. This skill is also linked to a desire to do one’s best and to confront problems, rather than avoid them.

Using both your logical and your intuitive responses along with following the decision making process should improve your success in this area.

Decision Making Model

  1. State The Problem – The first and arguably the most important step in the decision making model in five steps is to identify the problem. Until you have a clear understanding of the problem or decision to be made, it is meaningless to proceed. If the problem is stated incorrectly or unclearly then your decisions will be wrong.
  2. Identify Alternatives – Sometimes your only alternatives are to do it or don’t do it. Most of the time you will have several feasible alternatives. It is worth doing research to ensure you have as many good alternatives as possible.
  3. Evaluate The Alternatives – This is where the analysis begins. You must have some logical approach to rank the alternatives.
  4. Make A Decision – You have evaluated your alternatives. Two or more of your high ranked alternatives may be very close in the evaluations. You should eliminate all of the alternatives that were low ranked. Now it is time to go back and examine the inputs you made to evaluation criteria for the close high ranked alternatives. Do you still feel comfortable with the inputs you made? When you have made any changes it is time for some subjection. You have eliminated the alternatives that do not make logical sense. Now it is time to let your subconscious work. Review all the details of the remaining high ranked close alternatives, so they are completely clear in your mind. Completely leave the project alone for a few days. When you return to the project, the decision will likely be very clear in your head. This only works if you have done your homework!
  5. Implement Your Decision – A decision has no value unless you implement it. If you are not good with implementation, then find someone that is. Part of the implementation phase is the follow up. The follow up ensures that the implementation sticks.

Summary
This decision making model in five steps shows a logical structured methodology for making a decision. The discipline that it provides will guide you to the goal of making good decisions.

To find out more about how Improving your skills in problem solving will add to your value as a team player, make you more productive and effective and, perhaps most importantly, will make life flow more smoothly and enjoyably, just visit www.highforce.co.uk/freeguide, where you’ll be able to obtain a free copy of my new guide, “15 easy-to-learn, practical and dynamic secrets to increase your success”.

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