6 Steps to solve problems more effectively

Are you the type of person who stops thinking when faced with a problem? Do you freeze or become anxious? Maybe you don’t know what to do?

Well, you’re not the only one. 

Problem-solving doesn’t come naturally to all of us. The bad news is we all need problem-solving skills to manoeuvre life – personal life, our careers, and relationships. The good news is that we can all learn to acquire this important skill by adopting the following tips.

Stay calm. Remaining calm when faced with a challenge allows you to think properly so you can find solutions. Panicking, stressing, or overthinking will lead to mistakes and making impulsive decisions you will later regret.

Leverage good relationships. Whether it’s a team, peers, or friends, you need to build good relationships with those around you. Your circle will provide assistance, give advice and counsel or help you find solutions when you’re stuck.

Brainstorm and evaluate ideas. The way to go about doing this is to try to remove yourself from the problem. This way, you can gain perspective and shift your focus. It’s hard to find alternative solutions when you’re at the centre of the problem. Again, your circle plays a huge role here by suggesting ideas and a possible way forward.

List your ideas from likely to work (be realistic) to least likely. It’s important to keep an open mind at this stage as experience and fear may influence your ideas. Once you have this list and have evaluated the consequences, choose the first option and make the decision to act.

Act. Unfortunately, we don’t solve problems by just hoping and praying. We have to put our ideas and solutions into practice.

Evaluate the results. Like anything in life, you must evaluate your actions and the outcomes thereof. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the situation? What can you improve if faced with a similar problem in the future?

Although every problem is different, these tips will help you solve problems, in general, more effectively and efficiently.

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