How am I supposed to solve this

Problem solution: In 4 simple steps

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Focus on the problem

Here we define a problem as a task, issue, or circumstance that causes dissatisfaction. It keeps us from achieving our private or professional goal. Successful problem solving depends on which problem solving strategy you choose:

  • Escape
    Escape is when you recognize the problem but do not take steps to correct it.
  • displacement
    A classic avoidance strategy is also displacement. Instead of tackling it, the actors downplay the problem or ignore it altogether. A similar mistake is recognizing a problem but focusing on something else first.
  • acceptance
    The most important lesson in problem solving is as mundane as it is crucial: focus on the problem. Problems do not solve on their own, nor do you get annoyed about the circumstances that arise for you. Instead, accept the problem, tackle it right away, and postpone unimportant trivialities until another point in time.

Problem solving in 4 simple steps

Regardless of the industry in which you work and what problems you are confronted with: A coordinated problem solution is still the best way to quickly and reliably come to a suitable result. This process is most likely to succeed if you follow four simple steps that will lead you from a problem to a solution.

1. Definition of the problem

Logically, the first step must always be to define the real problem. What went wrong, what does not correspond to the hoped-for result? A comparison between the target and the actual state can help here. The more specifically the problem is defined here, the easier it is to find a suitable solution later.

2. Analysis of the causes

The analysis of the causes is essential for a successful problem solution and also for the early avoidance of a similar error in the future. How did the grievance come about? What factors caused the problem to occur? If possible causes are uncovered, work can be carried out on these points.

3. Suggestions for the solution

You now know what the problem is and what caused it. Time to think about possible solutions. Sometimes there are already empirical values ​​that can lead to a solution. In other cases, creativity techniques can be used to inspire you. There is no right or wrong here yet.

4. Evaluation of the proposals

The proposed solutions are only evaluated in the last step. Here you can now determine which suggestions come closest to an ideal solution. For this it is advisable to define criteria which the solution must meet. The proposed solution that best meets the criteria is then selected and implemented.

You can also use the so-called STAR method as a guide - this can also be modified and applied to problem solving:

It is important to keep this in mind when solving a problem

A well-coordinated problem-solving process is half the battle. But there is definitely more that can be done to solve problems efficiently. First and foremost, it is about the work environment. If this is not the case, new problems arise rather than existing ones being solved. The next time you have a problem in the office, there are three things you should keep in mind in order to come up with a good solution:

1. Mistakes are not made intentionally

It may seem like this to you at times, but 99 percent of the time it's really true: Nobody makes mistakes on purpose. Rather, the opposite is true. Employees strive to do the best possible job. Instead of yelling at a team member for a mistake, encourage them to solve the problem themselves. With the drive to do his best, he will be motivated to come up with a suitable solution.

2. Many eyes see more than just two

Why should only a single employee or perhaps a small team deal with solving a problem? Maybe another colleague would have a much better solution. Therefore, do not limit the solution process to just a small part, but include all employees. For example, bring it up in a meeting and ask everyone present to think about a possible solution.

3. The greater the interest, the better the performance

Of course, an employee can be determined who is responsible for solving the problem. However, it remains doubtful whether this is also the best candidate for the job. If, on the other hand, an employee is found who is very interested in precisely this challenge, better proposed solutions can be expected. So raise a problem instead of asking an employee to do it.

Solve problems by waiting

Sometimes the best you can do is just the opposite of what you want to do. In fact, many believe that acting alone is the best way to achieve your goals. Actions instead of words and such. Most of the time that's true. But not always. In some cases, inaction, waiting, and sitting out are better alternatives.

Don't get us wrong. We're not talking about inaction, phlegm, or putting your hands in your pockets - we mean Wu Wei. This maxim, originally borrowed from Taoism, stands for conscious action through non-action. It stands for more serenity. But if you prefer it schematically: Here is our ultimate problem-solving flowchart with a little wink:

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