What’s in it for me? Become a problem-solving master.
Whether you want to be more successful at business or better at learning, it can be more than a little frustrating when you know what you want but find that the path to your goal is littered with obstacles, making the target appear impossible.
This article is about never having that frustrating experience again. Based on simple advice originally written for Japanese school children, the advice contained within will help anyone get a grip on the problems keeping them from succeeding. Read on to learn how to break down the problem-solving method into four simple, easy-to-follow steps.
In this Article, you will learn
- the no-brainer first step toward solving any problem;
- the usefulness of a yes/no tree; and
- how to achieve even the biggest of dreams.
Problem Solving 101 starts with breaking your problem down to its core.
We come across problems every day, like grammar difficulties in English class or tension with colleagues or friends. No matter the scale of the problems we face, not all of us are well-equipped to solve them.
That’s where the four essential steps come in. They can help you solve any problem.
The first step is to identify what your problem is really about. To do so, you have to take the problem and break it down into smaller parts.
For example, let’s imagine you’re struggling with poor grades in math. At first glance, the problem looks huge and almost impossible, so you wonder whether you should stop playing soccer with your friends to devote more time to studying. But before you ring your friends to tell them you’re off the team, think about the problem in another way.
You should ask yourself which categories are causing you trouble. Is it geometry, algebra and/or fractions? If the only geometry is bringing down your overall marks, then only geometry should be your focus of increased study. But before you start studying, break your problem down even further.
Take a narrower look at geometry and single out the specific problems you have with the subject. Is it measuring cylinder volume or trapezoid areas, or is it the Pythagorean theorem? Once you’ve pinpointed your weak spot, you can begin to solve the problem much more effectively by focusing all your attention on it – and you will probably have time to play soccer with your friends, too!
So now you know exactly where your problem is. However, you haven’t solved it yet. Next up, work out what exactly is causing your problem.
“Problem-solving isn’t a talent that some people have and others don’t. It’s a habit.”
To discover what’s causing your problem, brainstorm the potential reasons and test your ideas.
Now that you’ve drilled down to find your actual problem, you have to work out why it’s a problem. In other words, what’s causing it? This is step two of the problem-solving method.
To determine the cause of your problem, first list……………………………………………