Indeed Career Guide says that problem-solving skills can help you determine the source of a problem and find an effective solution. While it is a universal job skill that all employers look for, not everyone is good at it.

Let’s dissect the 4 stages of problem-solving.

1. Defining the problem
The first step to effective problem solving is clearly identifying the problem or task at hand.

2. Brainstorming possible alternatives
After defining the problem, the next step in problem solving is brainstorming possible alternatives. At this point, get as much alternatives as possible. There are no right or wrong answers in brainstorming.

3. Choose the best strategy
Once you’ve brainstormed possible alternatives, it is now time to choose the best strategy. You have to identify the best idea that will solve your problem. Take into consideration your resources, your timelines, and whether the alternative is realistic or not.

4. Implementing your chosen solution
Once you have chosen your plan of attack, implement and track your tasks according to plan.

Now that we’ve identified the stages in problem-solving, let’s take a look at how to improve your problem-solving skills.

It has been mentioned that the first step is identifying the problem. Sometimes, some people get stuck with the problem and can’t move on to solution-making. Don’t get stuck in that rut.

Focus on the solutions and not the problem.

Use the 5 Whys Approach. When you continuously ask the question ‘why,’ you are able to dig deeper into the problem and determine the root cause. This will help you identify the possible solutions to the problem.

Simplify things. According to Learning-Mind, when you break the problem down into its basic components, it becomes easier to understand and, therefore, easier to solve.

Don’t panic. Keep a healthy frame of mind when resolving problems. Keep your emotions out of the problem and always think positively when brainstorming for solutions.

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