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Problem solving


Being someone who is able to stand back from a situation, look at what's going wrong and make changes is something all companies value. One thing is certain in business - things will go wrong. It's how you correct them that will make you stand out and succeed.

What is problem solving?

Everyone solves problems on a daily basis, from fixing a broken kettle to finding your usual route to work being diverted. Any job you get will also involve you finding solutions to problems. You need to be able to do the following:

  • Evaluate information or a situation

  • Analyse why things are going wrong

  • Think of different ways to fix the problem

  • Choose the most cost-effective, most time-effective solution

Why do employers want people with problem solving skills?

The harder the problem, the better the problem solver needed. Almost all jobs require you to solve problems on a daily basis. Employers need people who are able to think analytically and make the right decisions for the company.

Good problem solvers are those that think of the solution that works best for the company, not necessarily the individual or even their department. If you are able to analyse and solve a problem successfully, you should be able to stop it recurring in the future.

How can you demonstrate problem solving skills?

You can show successful problem solving skills in a number of ways. Try learning the IDEAL model of problem solving.

Whatever issue you are faced with, there are five steps you need to take before you decide on a way forward:

  • Identify the problem

  • Define the problem

  • Examine the options

  • Act on a plan

  • Look at the consequence

Alternatively, talk about a time when you were faced with a problem that took you out of your comfort zone and made look for a new way to solve an issue.

How is problem solving used in the world of work?

Any job you take will also bring problems to be faced. Solving problems means being both creative and analytical. As such, many problems are solved using a team of people to utilise the skills of the group. Good problem solvers are also normally good teamworkers and have excellent communication skills too.

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