The Fine Art of Problem Solving

Problem solving is something that we all must do from time to time, whether on the job or in other situations.

While many of us feel we are experienced in finding solutions, we can easily feel stumped when faced with what may seem an impossible predicament. The best way to problem solve is by taking steps to look at the issue from all sides, and in turn come up with a logical solution.

Knowing how to problem solve is important in everyday life, whether it be a mother looking for a way to handle an issue between her children, or someone that is experiencing tension in a personal relationship.

Regardless of whether or not you feel you can solve problems efficiently in day to day life, it is always a good idea to know the basics of problem solving.

Identify the Problem at Hand

The first step in problem solving is to correctly identify the problem at hand. For instance, if you are a mother of two children that are constantly bickering, it is always best to speak to each child alone in order to get their version of the issue. Once you have compared notes on the two youngster's opinions, you should be able to clearly identify the issue.

Once you have identified the problem at hand, the next step is analyzing the problem.

Analyze the Problem

When analyzing a problem, the first thing to consider is how long the issue has been going on. If it is a long standing issue, you need to determine the seriousness of the situation. Decide if it is something that can be handled where everyone can come to an agreement. Analyzing the problem is an effective step when it comes to solving issues between siblings, friends, or personal relationships.

Consider Various Solutions

Once you have determined the problem is something that can be handled, the next step is to weigh possible solutions. For a parent, this might mean bringing the children together in front of you in order to discuss their differences. As a parent, you are also entitled to the final decision, and you may prefer to give your children an ultimatum.

Ultimatums are best used when there is no other possible solution. It is always a good idea to come up with a list of possible solutions that won’t add any extra tension to the issue.

For married or dating relationships, you may be able to make a decision on whether or not to stay together…by bringing in a neutral party or working with a therapist. If these interventions don't work, the final solution may be to end the relationship.

Solve the Problem

Once you have come up with a solution that you feel works best for everyone involved, it is now time to inform everyone involved of your solution. For parents of bickering children, you may wish to present your solution along with an option of rewarding them for good behavior.

In personal relationships, it is always best to be completely truthful and clear, especially if your decision is to end a relationship. This way there are no misunderstandings later on down the line.

Successful Problem Solving

Problems and disagreements are natural in life.  Knowing how to handle them when they arise at home with the family or in your personal relationships will allow for peace and balance in your daily life. Tackle each problem as it comes…with knowledge and patience.

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