Problem Solving Skill
The Problem Solving skill can be very useful once we have determined that a problem has arisen, and it’s our problem to solve. Sometimes we experience unpleasant emotions about the actions of others or situations that we cannot change. This skill specifically helps us to collect the facts and take steps to solve a problem for which we can change.
There are a number of steps to effective problem solving:
- 1Stop long enough to realize that a situation is a problem and you may need time to find a resolution.
- 2Define the problem in detail. What is the situation? Who is involved? What is happening or not happening that is a problem? Where did it happen? When did it happen? How did it happen? How often does it occur? Why does it happen? How do you feel? What do you do in response? What do you want to change?
- 3Describe how the problem interferes with your goals. If the situation does not interfere with your goals, it is likely not your problem.
- 4Identify all the options/alternatives. It is important to find at least 3 potential solutions in order to avoid the black/white thinking we were programmed to use.
- 5View of the consequences of each option/alternative. Seek additional knowledge if necessary.
- 6Identify the steps needed to resolve/take action. Make a list of when and how the steps will be taken and then take the required action.
- 7Evaluate results. If the steps taken were successful to resolve the problem, acknowledge that you successfully solved a problem and give yourself some credit. If the steps taken were not successful to solve the problem, learn more about what would be needed to solve the problem and follow steps 4-7 again until the matter is resolved.