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4 Realistic Problem Solving Steps for Everyday Life

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

If you are anything like me, you have experienced a lot of trial and error when learning about effective problem-solving. Problem-solving is a method that involves using a solution-focused thought process to discover, analyze, and solve problems. How do you typically do with this multi-step process? Read on if you would like to learn 4 simple ways to improve your problem-solving skills!



Understand the Problem Solving Process: 4 Easy Steps


As I said before, problem-solving is a process. To get the most out of your problem-solving experience, you should keep the following information in mind:


1. Problem-solving starts with defining your problem.

If you want to solve a problem, you must first be clear on what it is! You must determine if you are solving a problem or trying to address a worry. Problems visit us in life without being welcomed and cause harm. Worries are situations that we fear may visit us in life and cause harm.



Example: If I come home to a flooded basement, that would be a problem that could be addressed by following a problem-solving process. Alternatively, if I started to think about what might happen if my basement flooded before a thunderstorm, that would be worry and I would not be able to address that by using a problem-solving method.


Worry comes into my mind when I think about things that could happen, but I am not able to solve these since they have not yet happened. For more on the difference between problem-solving and worry check out this article from Psychology Today!

2. Once you know what your problem is, you need to determine what caused the problem.

I used to have this car when I was in college; it was well-used and the exterior told stories of its travels. The driveway I parked in was shaded by a large mulberry tree that released berries that stained my car. I did not much care about the exterior of the car due to the wear and tear that existed, but what do you think would happen if I would have cleaned the car and parked it back in my regular spot with no other modifications?


Yeah, silly question, I know, but just think about it. Have you ever found yourself taking steps to make changes without out first addressing the cause of the problems you were solving? How does that usually turn out?


3. Problem identified? Check! Underlying issue(s) identified? Check! Now on to solution-finding.


Solution-finding is my most favorite part of the problem-solving


process. Why do you ask? At this step, you get to jot down, image, type, record (so many options!) all possible solutions to your problem! Capture any solution you think you have to address your problem, even ones you

think might be outshined by others.


Every year during springtime I struggle with allergies. Addressing this problem requires me to assess all of my options to address this seasonal affliction. Medication, cold compress, staying hydrated, etc. - there are many options that I have at my disposal to address these nagging sensitivities.

4. Last step: Implement a Solution

At this point, you have thoroughly evaluated and identified problems in your life and come up with viable solutions. Which one works best for the problem you are facing? Take that solution and come up with a plan to use it.

When coming up with a plan, keep it simple and remember Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why. Also, think about what barriers exist and how to push past those when executing your plan. Be sure to stick with known barriers, do not get carried always with the "what-if's".

There you have it! A short and sweet way to start identifying, understanding, and solving problems you might face in life. Helping you remove roadblocks is what we love to do! Mezzo Solutions can help individuals, groups, communities, and organizations get on the path of effective problem-solving!










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