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Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

Problems form an integral part of one's journey. Problems are inevitable. You cannot avoid them. You cannot run away from them.


While life keeps on throwing heaps of problems at you, you need not get discouraged. Instead, you need to upskill yourself with effective problem-solving abilities to punch the problems, hard in their face.

Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem solving. -Michael Gelb

With problem-solving skills, you can face any difficult situation. May it be in personal life, or in professional life. Problem-solving skills are a must in this rapidly changing world.


You need to look for creative solutions to the problems that arise at your workplace. Being able to solve problems with less effort can give you an edge in this extremely competitive world.


What are problem-solving skills and why are they important?


Problem-solving skills are the skills that help you define a problem, find various approaches and feasible solutions to it. The problem-solving ability allows you to get to the root cause of the problem and develop a step-by-step guide to solve it.


Problem-solving abilities require logical and rational thinking. You cannot simply start solving a problem without first analyzing it. Thus the procedure to solve a problem starts first with its analysis.


Analyzing the problem with all the possible angles is the first step in problem-solving. And then further, when you figure out the cause of the problem, you can try to figure out all the possible feasible solutions to it. You get to the solution of a problem with the help of your knowledge and experience.


While working on complex projects in an industry, the need for problem-solving often arises. And hence, employers prefer candidates with effective problem-solving skills.


Being able to solve a problem under the pressure of deadlines is the most valued skill by employers. While working on something, you face certain challenges. And it is important to solve such a problem within a given time and with minimum effort in order to avoid losses.


Problems arising in industries can range from a very low, moderate to very high severity. To avoid loss of life, infrastructure, money, and time as a result of these problems are of prime importance to industries. And hence, every employer prefers a candidate having the ability to face difficult situations and be a good problem-solver.


Having good problem-solving abilities can help you stand out from the crowd.


Some of the soft skills associated with problem-solving skills are:

  • Active listening

  • Analysis

  • Creativity

  • Research

  • Analytical thinking

  • Decision making

  • Communication

  • Dependability

  • Team-building

Now that we know that one must possess problem-solving skills, let us have a closer look at what are problem-solving skills and how can you develop them.


Examples of problem-solving skills:


Following are examples of problem-solving skills. Using a combination of these depending upon the requirement of the situation, you can reach the most economical solution.


1. Research:

To solve a problem you need to first conduct thorough research.


You need to identify the root cause of the problem. Identify its sources.


Understand where you need to fix things and then move on to how to fix them.


If you are unable to get to the cause, consult subject matter experts. Take their opinions. Consult your friends and colleagues. Consider all the points and come to a conclusion.


2. Analysis:

The next step: Analysis. Once you get the cause of the problem, proceed with the analysis of the problem.


Analyze the problem from all angles. Find answers to questions such as how, why, when, because of what, etc.


Collect data if necessary. Apply analytical thinking. Draw a conclusion from the analysis and then proceed to the next step.


3. Decision-making:

Once you have performed the analysis, it's now time to make a decision. This is the most crucial part.


You need to think critically in all dimensions before you make a decision. Decisions taken in a haste can lead you to another problem.


Think of all the possible solutions. Look for all the pros and cons of every solution. Differentiate between the productive and the unproductive ones.


Eliminate the ones that are not feasible. Choose the one that is most economical and then proceed to the next step.


4. Communication:

You should communicate the problems with others and present your possible solutions.


Communication allows you to phrase the right question and look for different answers.


You can share your problems with those whom you trust and get their advice or feedback that might help you to reach the correct solution.


You can use the appropriate communication channel to communicate the problem with the higher authorities.


5. Dependability:

Dependability is an important problem-solving skill. People with dependability are highly reliable and punctual.


Make sure that you solve the problem within the given time.


The people who have dependability skills work diligently to meet the requirements and expectations.


Being effective problem solvers, you can get high recognition from employers.


How to improve your problem-solving skills?


Here are a few tips with the help of which you can improve your problem-solving skills.


Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

1. Acquire more technical knowledge in your field:

Knowledge is the most powerful tool when it comes to problem-solving.


Acquire as much knowledge as you can. Keep your basics strong. Improve your technical skills.


The better you know about things the easier will it become to solve problems regarding them.

Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

2. Seek challenges:

Seek new opportunities and new challenges. Train your brain to think analytically.


Try your hands on different things. Try to solve as many problems as you can.


The best thing you can do it, create a hypothetical problem and try to solve it. Think of difficult situations that might arise.


Think of the things that you'd do in such situations. The decisions that you'd take. Exploit every possible opportunity.


Take initiative for new projects, work with different teams, or take projects outside to explore new opportunities.


Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

3. Do practice problems:

Practice makes a man perfect. Practicing problems can enhance your problem-solving abilities.


You can go through various problems with the help of the internet and reference books and try to solve them.


Look for case studies. They give you an insight into real-life problems from a different point of view.


Problem-Solving Skills: Definitions and Examples

4. Observe how others solve problems:

Certain professionals are more experienced and can solve problems with much more ease. You can look up to them.


You can try to learn and try to adopt their problem-solving techniques.


You can observe the way they approach a problem. This will enhance your problem-solving abilities.


You can try and assist such professionals in a problem-solving process in order to gain guidance and experience.



Now that you know what are problem-solving skills, why are important and how can you improve you can start working on your problem-solving abilities right away.


A candidate possessing strong problem-solving skills is highly valued in this dynamic job market. Being able to solve a problem within the given time and with less effort can help you stand out from the competition.


Possessing strong problem-solving abilities and showcasing them during an interview can increase your chances of getting hired. With problem-solving skills, you can get a step closer to your dream job.


So, from where are you starting to improve on your problem-solving skills? Let us know in the comments.

 

If you found this Blog informative please let me know and visit my website www.ajinkyachopade.com you will find various related blogs and material here.


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