This week we’ll conclude the overview of Tim Hansel’s book Eating Problems for Breakfast.
Hansen believes there is a repeatable seven-step process to solving any problem. He says, “This seven-step process is appropriate to any problem whether it be fixing a kitchen door or a relationship at work, whether it be solving a logistical hassle or working with some disruption in your family. It works on all kinds of problems—and it is so logical that if you were to write these seven steps down and practice them, even for a few days, they would become automatic to you.”
Seven-Step Problem-Solving Process
- “Recognize and accept a problem. You must first realize a problem exists and be willing to engage yourself fully in an attempt to correct it. This, believe it or not, is one of the most important steps in problem solving. It is the beginning point to all problem solving.
- Analyze the problem. Take it apart, simplify it, get to know the ins and outs of the problem. See each of its pieces with as much clarity as possible.
- Define the problem. What really is the problem? Eliminate anything that is unnecessary. What do you believe are the main issues of the problem? Clarify the major goals to solve the problem. It helps if you can write out the problem or state it clearly to another person.
- Brainstorm. Generate as many ideas or potential answers as you can. If possible, brainstorm with another person. Write down every idea you think of. Quantity is more important than quality at this point.
- Select. Choose what appears to be the best possible way of solving the problem at this time. Try to select between the best alternatives, taking the most logical solution at this time.
- Implement. Try it out. Put into action your selected best choice.
- Evaluate. Determine the effect or results of the solution in correcting the problem. Did it work? If not, what could you do to improve the solution at this time?
This means problem-solving is a continuing process or journey. If you finish the seven steps and are still unsatisfied, then you automatically go back to the beginning, to the first step, with a new sense of awareness. Remember that each of these steps or phases are interrelated, forming a continuous journey—the more we practice them the more natural they become. If we wish to improve our problem-solving abilities, we must work toward improving and developing each step or phase in the problem-solving process.
Use this problem-solving process in your everyday life. You might be surprised to discover a new sense of clarity and direction unfolding in your life. Remember, the test of character isn’t always how we handle the big problems but how we deal with the ordinary ones as well.”
As I stated last week, Tim Hansel’s book Eating Problems for Breakfast provides a ton of brainteasers and examples to help you become a better problem-solver.
You can download a free copy of the above overview at my website Wisdom-Matters by clicking on the “Free Resources” tab.
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See you next week for more Wisdom Matters!