Thinking Differently About Problem Solving
All of us from time to time are faced with difficult situations. Sometimes these problems may seem insurmountable. However, there’s almost always a solution. When you can’t figure out the solution to a problem, try to take a different approach to the situation to see your problem in an entirely different light.
Looking at the problem from a different perspective can often make the solution obvious instead of impossible. This technique is one of many creative problem solving techniques that can help provide solutions to your trickiest problems.
Problem Solving Tips
Creative problem solving techniques are valuable skills to cultivate. They can lead to the kind of innovative solutions that allow you to overcome obstacles and find the best possible solutions to even the stickiest of situations. Some of the best solutions are the simplest ones and all it takes to find the solution is to gain a fresh perspective.
Try these creative problem solving techniques in your own life to solve your “impossible” problems:
- Take a break. You can easily burn yourself out by over thinking a problem over a long period of time. Take a little time away and return to it; it will do wonders for your perspective!
- Take a nap, walk or just think about something else entirely for a short time before returning to the problem at hand.
- Get an outside perspective. Gather a few trusted friends or family members and explain the problem you’re trying to solve – having fresh input from people less familiar with the problem can be invaluable.
- Brainstorm together and have everyone share their different solutions. Two heads are often better than one.
- While this method can be very helpful, don’t rely on other people to always solve your problems. It’s best to approach friends or coworkers after you’ve brainstormed a few solutions yourself.
- Get it on paper. Write everything down about the situation. Many of us are visually oriented thinkers and having charts or lists can help clarify the problem and its solution.
- Organizing a seating arrangement for a wedding reception is a great example of how a chart can help solve problems.
- Your time spent worrying about a problem will decrease significantly when you can physically make changes to your chart and see your solution.
- Break a large problem into smaller parts. Very often what appears to be a large problem is really a series of smaller challenges. Identify each challenge and work on solving each one separately.
- For example, buying a house is one large task that consists of many smaller items. When you break it down, you would focus on dealing with the realtor and getting mortgage approval first without worrying about movers or home inspections.
- There’s more than one solution to every problem. Don’t limit yourself to just thinking of one solution. Brainstorm as many solutions as possible, even if they sound crazy or outlandish, and then go back to evaluate which solutions might work.
- In an office situation with multiple workers in a meeting, listen to each idea. Maybe two or more ideas can be developed into a viable and original solution.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of creative problem solving techniques and every technique may not work for every person or situation.
The important idea, however, is to get a fresh perspective so you can open up your mind to find the best solution.
Using this procedure regularly will enable you to view your problems in a new way and discover solutions more quickly. Also, be patient and try not to get frustrated at the process. Some problems are more difficult than others and will take more time to solve. But rest assured there is an answer!