Basic problem solving in six steps

Problem solving is a vital part of any job role and resolving work problems can make us feel more empowered and successful at work. Identifying the basic steps in the problem solving process can help us manage problems efficiently when they do arise.

These six steps focus on identifying the specific problem and looking at options which may help in reaching a decision:

  •  Identify: What is the problem? What is it that you want to change or sort out?
  • What are the options or solutions as you see it? Consult with others if possible in relation to the identified problem and possible options or solutions.
  • What are benefits or consequences of each option or solution?
  • Choose an option or solution. This is not about being right or wrong, it is about choosing the best available option for this particular problem and giving it a try.
  • Put it into action. How can you can make it happen?
  • Review. It is always worth taking time to review results. What can you learn from this? What if a similar problem presented itself? Would you do the same thing or are there other alternatives?

Note
Keeping a record of how you handled particular problems, the learning in relation to what worked and what you might do differently next time; will enhance your options, choices and sense of control over your work or home-life.