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Problem solving skills refers to our ability to solve problems in an effective and timely manner without any impediments.It involves being able to identify and define the problem, generating alternative solutions, evaluating and selecting the best alternative, and implementing the selected solution.Our problem solving pages provide a simple and structured approach to problem solving.
These barriers can turn a potentially positive situation into a negative one, a problem. It is human nature to notice and focus on small, easy to solve problems but much harder to work on the big problems that may be causing some of the smaller ones. Problems involve setting out to achieve some objective or desired state of affairs and can include avoiding a situation or event.
It's useful to consider the following questions when faced with a problem. Goals can be anything that you wish to achieve, or where you want to be.
If you are hungry then your goal is probably to eat something.
If you are the head of an organisation (CEO), then your main goal may be to maximise profits and this main goal may need to be split into numerous sub-goals in order to fulfil the ultimate aim of increasing profits.
Trying to solve a complex problem alone however can be a mistake.
The old adage " Effective problem solving usually involves working through a number of steps or stages, such as those outlined below.Of course for the CEO wanting to increase profits there may be many more barriers preventing the goal from being reached.The CEO needs to attempt to recognise these barriers and remove them or find other ways to achieve the goals of the organisation.If there were no barriers in the way of achieving a goal, then there would be no problem.Problem solving involves overcoming the barriers or obstacles that prevent the immediate achievement of goals.Problem solving skills are highly sought after by employers as many companies rely on their employees to identify and solve problems.A lot of the work in problem solving involves understanding what the underlying issues of the problem really are - not the symptoms.Following our examples above, if you feel hungry then your goal is to eat.A barrier to this may be that you have no food available - so you take a trip to the supermarket and buy some food, removing the barrier and thus solving the problem.It would be wonderful to have the ability to solve all problems efficiently and in a timely fashion without difficulty, unfortunately though there is no one way in which all problems can be solved.You will discover, as you read through our pages on problem solving, that the subject is complex.