You are on page 1of 29

Problem Solving

PROBLEM SOLVING

Problem Solving
Ability to define problems, and generate and
implement effective solutions
Process of:

feeling confident about dealing with a problem


defining it clearly
generating as many solutions as possible
making a decision and implementing it
assessing outcomes

Problem Solving
TOO High
Too much time spent looking at problem
Extreme perfectionist
Overbearing, dictatorial

TOO Low
Doesnt see options/ignores details
Relies only on intuition

A Review of Steps to Problem Solving


4 Key Steps

Step #1
Clearly identify the problem

Involves objective judgment


Often

reflective of personal beliefs and values

Indentify urgent issues first


Look for root problem
Is

the problem actually a symptom of


another?
Act on what is important
~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

Step #2
Use critical and creative thinking to
develop solutions
Do initial brainstorming
Critical thinking allows for thorough
analysis
Keep brainstorming
Narrow down to best solution

~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

Step #3
Evaluate the possible solutions
Use gathered research
Compare solutions
Weigh out pros and cons of each
Consider time constraints
Consider optimal results

~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

Step #4
Choose the best solution that works
Consider objective factors
Consider subjective factors
Have a sound rational
Consider all those involved

~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

FLEXIBILITY

Emotional Skills measured on the EQ-i

INTRAPERSONAL

Self-regard
Emotional self-awareness
Assertiveness
Independence
Self-actualization

Empathy
Social responsibility
Interpersonal relationship

Reality testing

Flexibility
Problem solving

INTERPERSONAL

ADAPTABILITY

STRESS
MANAGEMENT

Stress tolerance
Impulse control

GENERAL MOOD

Optimism
Happiness

Flexibility
ability to adjust your feelings,
thoughts and actions to changing
conditions
adapt to unfamiliar circumstances
react to change without rigidity
change your mind when evidence
suggests your mistaken
open to and tolerant of different
ideas, orientations, ways and
practices

Flexibility

TOO High
get taken advantage of/no backbone
may not finish things
change junkie

TOO Low
stuck in patterns/rigid in opinions
difficulty facing change

Think of our history! How many people are still


Stuck in the past(Stuck in an old pattern)?

The Good Housewife


The following is excerpted from an actual
1950's high school Home Economics
textbook:
ADVANCE: How to be a Good Wife
HAVE DINNER READY: Plan ahead, even the night
before, to have a delicious meal--on time. This is a way to
let him know that you have been thinking about him and
are concerned with his needs. Most men are hungry when
they come home, and having a good meal ready is part of
the warm welcome that is needed.
PREPARE YOURSELF: Take fifteen minutes to rest so
that you will be refreshed when he arrives. He has just
been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a
little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift. Greet
him with a smile.
~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

CLEAR AWAY THE CLUTTER: Make one last trip


though the main part of the house just before your husband
arrives, gathering up children's books and toys, papers, etc.
Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel
he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you
lift too.
PREPARE THE CHILDREN: If they are small, wash their
hands and faces and comb their hair. They are his little
treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
MINIMIZE ALL NOISE: At the time of his arrival,
eliminate all noise from the washer, dryer, or vacuum.
Encourage the children to be quiet.

SOME "DO NOT'S": Don't greet him with problems and


complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as
a minor problem compared to what he might have gone through
that day.
MAKE HIM COMFORTABLE: Have a cool or warm drink
ready for him. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or
suggest that he lie down in the bedroom. Arrange his pillow and
offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing voice. Allow
him to relax and unwind.
LISTEN TO HIM: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but
the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
MAKE THE EVENING HIS: Never complain if he doesn't
take you to dinner or to other entertainment. Instead, try to
understand his world of strain and pressure and his need to
unwind and relax.
THE GOAL: TO MAKE YOUR HOME A PLACE OF

Low flexibility
(adaptability) also affects
ones ability to break from
routines or patterns

Reacting to Change

How well do
you adapt
to changes
in your
regular
patterns?
http://www.you
tube.com/watch
?v=l2hIIvF5gJI

~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

A BALANCE IN FLEXIBILITY OPENS OUR MINDS


TO CHANGE, DIFFERENT PERCEPTIONS,
VARIOUS POSSIBILITIES, AND ALTERNATIVE
SOLUTIONS.

REALITY TESTING

Emotional Skills measured on the EQ-i

INTRAPERSONAL

Self-regard
Emotional self-awareness
Assertiveness
Independence
Self-actualization

INTERPERSONAL

Empathy
Social responsibility
Interpersonal relationship

ADAPTABILITY
Reality testing

STRESS
MANAGEMENT

Flexibility
Problem solving

Stress tolerance
Impulse control

GENERAL MOOD

Optimism
Happiness

~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

Reality Testing
Ability to assess between what is experienced (what you
FEEL) and what exists
Objectively seeing things without what you wish for, or
fear, interfering
Ability to assess a situation as it is without fantasizing or
daydreaming
Tuning in to or sizing up immediate situation
Focusing on present without losing contact with
happenings
Realistic without exaggeration

There are several sides to everything: yours, mine,


and the truthsubjective perception always impacts
reality
~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

Reality Testing

TOO High
Over analytical or cynical
Kill good ideas, deflating enthusiasm of team
Highly sceptical
TOO Low
Makes wrong observations
Tuned out/ out of touch
Only relies on gut
Not in reality- always fantasizing
~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

Strong Capacity for Reality Testing = Seeing Things


Objectively

Objectivity is key to effective practice in


business
If individual judgment or personal opinion
affect a business decision, reality testing has
been comprised
Objectivity necessary in

leadership roles
research processes
interpersonal work relationships

Objectivity lends to ethical behavior


Maintaining objectivity requires an unbiased
analysis of all facts
CAUTION.. Objectivity is easily impaired
~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~
(knowingly or unknowingly)

Fear Effects Reality Testing


Review this Scenario:
Andrea walks by Jen in the hallway at school, smiling at her as
they pass. Jen, however, does not smile back. Immediately,
Andrea thinks, Jen hates meshe is talking badly about
me.etc.
Andreas reality testing was
compromised by unsubstantiated fears
(Jen could just have easily been
preoccupied with her own concerns)
~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

We may fear

What we see in a horror film but this


is our imagination
Performing in front of an audience
but this is nervousness
Racing someone not because we
fear the person him/herself, but
because we may not have full
confidence

THESE ARE STATE OF MIND ONLY!


~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

Anger Affects Reality Testing

Without reality in check, emotion


takes overoften anger
Angry people stop thinking clearly
Angry people tend to make up their
minds about a situation right away
without clarity
Anger clouds reality and attention is
given to what is thought to exist
instead of what actually does
If anger (and emotion) is controlled,
greater clarity is achieved
(understanding of situation is
enhanced)

~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

Low Reality Testing A Marketers


Dream
Various industries take advantage of
this
i.e. commercials can feed on low
reality testing they make
consumers wish for or fantasize about
a product
ExampleAxe commercials:
http://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9tWZB7O
USU

~ Strategies for Success ~ The Lawrence Kinlin School of Business ~

In Class Activity
CULT: a particular system of religious worship, especially
with reference to its rites and ceremonies; a group or sect
bound together by veneration of the same thing, person,
ideal, etc. (Dictionary.com)

Some people believe that individuals who


are fanatic about something lack reality
testingthat their behaviour is almost cultlike.
In groups, discuss the statement above and answer the
following whether questions:
1. Do you think this statement is true?
2. List 5 examples in society of what could be considered cultlike (groups, behaviours, places, etc). Explain.
3. Think of 5 examples of cult-like related behaviour (or a lack