Problem-solving Skills Pdf

Our problem solving pages provide a simple and structured approach to problem solving. How can the problem be best defined? Results showed that when they listened to music while working out, participants more than doubled their scores on verbal fluency tests in contrast to when they worked out in silence. In other words, it may help you find a single, appropriate answer to a problem.

During implementation more problems may arise especially if identification or structuring of the original problem was not carried out fully. You will discover, as you read through our pages on problem solving, that the subject is complex. The last stage is about reviewing the outcomes of problem solving over a period of time, including seeking feedback as to the success of the outcomes of the chosen solution. Following on from the previous step it is now time to look at each potential solution and carefully analyse it. As you explain your thought process, use the steps listed above from analyzing the cause to assessing the effectiveness of your interventions.


Finally, make a decision on which course of action to take - decision making is an important skill in itself and we recommend that you see our pages on decision making. Whoever makes the decision must evaluate potential costs, required resources, and possible barriers to successful solution implementation. You can also frame bullet points in your resume to show off how you solved a problem. The first phase of problem solving may sound obvious but often requires more thought and analysis. Some of these problems are obviously more severe or complex than others.

Next, make a separate Mind Map of all possible solutions to the central problem. Doing all these things at once requires an enormous amount of brain activity.

While it might seem like some people are just born with stronger problem-solving skills, there are strategies that anyone can use to improve them. Here are the steps most commonly used in problem-solving, their associated skills, as2550 pdf and examples of where they are utilized in different career sectors.

Dealing with a customer complaint may be seen as a problem that needs to be solved, and it's almost certainly a good idea to do so. Problem solving involves overcoming the barriers or obstacles that prevent the immediate achievement of goals. If there were no barriers in the way of achieving a goal, then there would be no problem. Is there a problem at all?

Everybody can benefit from having good problem solving skills as we all encounter problems on a daily basis. This can be achieved by monitoring and gaining feedback from people affected by any changes that occurred.

What is psychological distance? It is good practice to keep a record of outcomes and any additional problems that occurred.

10 Ways to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

See our Emotional Intelligence pages for more. Dance Your Heart Out Did you know that dancing has a positive impact on neural processing, possibly developing new neural pathways to go around dopamine-depleted blockages in the brain?

Interviewers may also provide an example of a potential problem and then ask you to outline the steps you should take to address it. Tips for Answering Questions. 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. This is perhaps the most complex part of the problem solving process. Intuition is used when no new knowledge is needed - you know enough to be able to make a quick decision and solve the problem, or you use common sense or experience to solve the problem.

Stages of Problem Solving

For more details on the stages of problem solving continue to Identifying and Structuring Problems. Make a Mind Map by drawing your problem as the central idea. 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.

However many opportunities are missed or not taken full advantage of. Problems involve setting out to achieve some objective or desired state of affairs and can include avoiding a situation or event. This stage may not be necessary for very simple problems but is essential for problems of a more complex nature. Effective problem solving usually involves working through a number of steps or stages, such as those outlined below. Other results from a University of Illinois study include shorter reaction times, more accuracy, and increased attention.

10 Ways to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

What is a Problem

Analyzing the factors or causes contributing to the unwanted situation. Following our examples above, if you feel hungry then your goal is to eat.

Problem Solving Skills

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year. Identifying a problem can be a difficult task in itself. To prepare, brainstorm issues that commonly arise in your field.

From the information gathered in the first two phases of the problem solving framework it is now time to start thinking about possible solutions to the identified problem. The Cheerios Effect is the name physicists have given to the event that happens when the last few cheerios in a bowl always cling to each other. See our Team-Working page for more. The final stage of problem solving is concerned with checking that the process was successful.

Problem Solving Skills Worksheets - Printable Worksheets

Following on from problem identification, structuring the problem is all about gaining more information about the problem and increasing understanding. Trying to solve a complex problem alone however can be a mistake.

Goals can be anything that you wish to achieve, or where you want to be. See our page on Creative Thinking for more information. Work together to get the job done. You may find our Risk Management page useful. The list below includes common strategies involved in problem-solving.