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Ask anyone in the workplace if problem solving is part of their day and they’d certainly answer “Yes!”. But how many of us have had training in problem solving?

Because people are born problem solvers, the biggest challenge is to overcome the tendency to immediately came up with a solution. The most common mistake in problem solving is to put the solution at the beginning of the process, when what we need is a solution at the end of the process.

Here are seven-steps for an effective problem-solving process.

  1. Identify the issues
  2. Understand everyone’s interests
  3. List the possible solutions (options)
  4. Evaluate the options
  5. Select an option or options
  6. Document the agreements(s)
  7. Agree on contingencies, monitoring, and evaluation

Read the article written by Tim Hicks

Problem solving

Image source: Flickr – pierpeter (CC-BY-NC 2.0)