Problem Solving Skills

Problem Solving Skills – 5 Ways to Develop Them

October 03, 2022 Learning

Problems will come and go in everyone’s life. But the ability to deal with them requires effective problem-solving skills which many of us lack. We all know that solving problems can make our lives easier. Therefore, all of us must improve our problem-solving skills. Moreover, all employers prefer their employees to acquire these skills.

In this article, we are going to show you ways that can help you develop problem-solving skills. By practicing these simple but effective ways, you can become a pro at solving problems. Moreover, each of these problem-solving activities can help you deal with issues in both your personal and professional life.

5 Ways to Develop Problem Solving Skills

1. Apply “Psychological Distance”

Apply Psychological Distance

Many a time, when we are facing a difficult situation, we fail to see the big picture. Our emotions come as a barrier to taking the proper action in such situations. Besides, our feelings can even overwhelm and prevent us from taking an appropriate decision. In such situations, applying psychological distance can help us to create a distance between us and the problem like an individual, event, substance, etc.

Psychological distancing helps us to gain a proper perspective of a situation and look at the problem abstractly. Thus, it helps us to respond properly or make appropriate decisions. Moreover, by distancing ourselves from the problem, we tend to approach it with more creative ideas. So, this is one of the best problem-solving skills we must acquire.

2. Use Mind maps to picture the problem

Use Mind maps to picture the problem

Mind mapping is one of the best techniques to solve problems. Like psychological distancing, it also helps to see the bigger picture. This method encourages you to write down all possible problems to your goal. Then list down all the solutions to each problem.

Instead of finding solutions straightway, it helps you to look at all the possible problems as well as their solutions. Moreover, the visual representation allows us to generate better ideas. Most organizations and business professionals use this structured method for solving problems at various levels.

3. Use the 5 Whys Technique

Use the 5 Whys Technique

Once we find the cause of any problem, it becomes easier for us to find a solution for it. 5 Whys technique is one of the most effective problem-solving skills that help us to do so. The goal of this technique is to find out the root cause of any problem by asking 5 Why questions. This simple process helps us to tackle the real reason behind a problem.

In this process, you gather your team and start by defining the problem. Then you ask the first Why question. Once you get the answer to that, you need to ask your second Why based on the answer. Like this, you continue asking 5 Whys and come to the underlying root cause of a problem. Once, that is done, you focus on finding the solution for that one problem.

4. Six Thinking Hats Technique

Six Thinking Hats Technique

Six Thinking Hats is one of the most creative ways to approach any problem. In this method, you wear 6 different types of hats. The white hat collects facts and figures as the problem arises. The red hat shows your emotions and gut feelings. Next comes the black hat which helps you to avoid bad decisions.

Then there is the yellow hat which helps you to be positive and choose the best positive option. Next is the green hat. It welcomes new ideas and alternative solutions. And lastly, the blue hat manages the entire process and encourages all hats to follow the rules.

The Six Thinking Hat technique helps us to look at a problem from various angles. Thus, it helps us to find the solutions to the problem easily.

5. Brainstorming Solutions

Brainstorming Solutions

The best problem-solving skill is to focus entirely on solutions. The more we focus on problems, the bigger and more complicated they may look. But, shifting our focus to solutions will help us eliminate the problem quickly. Brainstorming is one of the best problem-solving skills that is easy and quick.

Brainstorming is more or less like mind mapping. The only difference is that mind mapping search for different problems as well as solutions. But, brainstorming is all about finding the best possible solutions.

For this, you can gather a group of people and encourage each one to come up with different ideas. You can also do brainstorming all by yourself by thinking about various solutions. The main idea is to bring out as many solutions as possible.

Learning a problem-solving skill is not enough for solving problems. You need to apply the skills as often as you can to become a master. Moreover, all the techniques listed above might not apply to all the problems. So, it is important to define the problem at first before approaching to solve it. However, getting hands-on with each problem-solving activity mentioned above will help you to get solutions to any problem easily.


Benyam Gizaw

Benyam Gizaw is the brain behind the online tutoring app, My Tutor. His role includes taking initiative in launching the app, leading the marketing, and operations team. He is a super-optimistic and motivating thought leader who believes that knowledge has more power than anything else in this world. His mission is to create equal opportunity for receiving a proper education for all. This simple idea of spreading education globally has given birth to one of the most user-friendly educational apps.

In his own words, “Knowledge is the key to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. My Tutor is the first step towards fulfilling this mission.”

As a result-oriented, self-driven, and super-enthusiastic thought leader, he firmly believes that one can achieve his goal if he is consistent in his field of expertise and is ready to take chances in life. This positive approach towards life and work has made Benyam a unique personality. He continues to motivate his team members to give their best.

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