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SEVEN STEPS TO SOLVING A PROBLEM

Article by Sue Segar

 

Problems are an unavoidable part of any life journey, which can hinder progress and prevent teachers and learners from reaching their goals. The following steps offer a practical and effective way of solving problems.

1.  The first step towards solving a problem is to make sure you define the problem clearly. In order to try and solve a problem, it is important to have a very clear understanding of what the problem actually is. Questions to ask yourself include:  Who has the problem? What is the problem? How and when and how often does the problem happen? How long has the problem been around? How does the problem affect your life?

2.  The second step is to gather information. Take time out of your busy schedule and gather all the information you possibly can in relation to the problem. This can involve talking to a range of people you think might be able to offer advice or reading a relevant book or article or, if possible, searching online for further information.

3.  Look for alternative solutions. Look for a number of alternative solutions to the problem. The skill of “thinking out of the box” or being creative in your search for solutions cannot be emphasized enough.

4.  Select what you think is the best solution. After weighing up all the alternative options you have listed, select the best solution. If possible, get other people to help you with the decision. Again, draw on the skills of people you know and trust.

5.  Implement the solution. Put your plan of action into practice.

6.  Evaluate the solution. The problem is not really solved until the solution has been put into practice and evaluated.

7.  Redefine the problem if necessary. If you have not made progress in solving the problem, then repeat step one by redefining the problem clearly and going through the problem-solving process again.

NB: Don’t forget to see problems as opportunities! If you have the right attitude, you will be able to find the potential and opportunity which arises from every problem you encounter in your life



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