Problems are a given in life. Sometimes, we even want solutions to be a given as well. In a way, they are all around us, but the question is, do we see them? In order to do that, you need to hone your problem-solving skills, and here are some strategies that you can adopt to do so.
Focus on Finding Solutions
Many of us, when we encounter problems, we immediately think only of how big the problem is and what it could mean if we don’t solve them. But you won’t be able to resolve issues when you don’t act to find solutions to them. For example, you may find that even though you can pay for your mortgage now, you may not be able to keep up soon. Instead of thinking about how you’re going to be paying for penalties in the future, you can focus on ways to try and reduce what you have to pay monthly. You’ll be able to find solutions such as mortgage refinancing.
Know What Your Problem Is
While we shouldn’t focus on the problem, it is still important to get to know it well. It will be difficult to solve a problem that you don’t even have a clear idea of. Given this, you should take some time to clarify it for yourself. Ask yourself the objective questions such as what it is, why it is, as well as how it came to be. Get to the root of the problem and come up with solutions that address the source rather than just the symptoms.
Freely Brainstorm Solutions
One reason people fail to come up with solutions is the tendency to dismiss them as soon as they show up in one’s mind. People make the mistake of readily making excuses, preventing them from exploring possibilities. To avoid this and come up with more solutions, list down as many as you can without letting your inner censor get at them. It’s even possible to take less time too, as you’ll keep yourself from lingering on one point for too long. Some of them may seem silly, but they may just be what you need to do.
Engage in Talking About Possibilities
When people dismiss the solutions that bubble up in their head, they tend to use words such as “that’s impossible” or “that won’t work.” In order to be effective at problem-solving, you need to stop yourself from doing that. Put the brakes on that car, because it will only take you to a dead end. You have to consciously shift the direction to your thoughts to words such as “it could work”, “what if”, “it’s possible to.” When you do, it will become easier for you to open yourself up to solutions.
Becoming better at problem-solving is mostly about being able to clearly identify issues and their causes, as well as being open to possibilities. While no guide can make you better at it at once, you can certainly practice what you learn. And by constantly practicing, you’ll gradually get better at it until it becomes second nature.