Problem solving skills – what is it?

Problems can be solved …

Problem solving skills

“The road of least resistance is only surfaced with asphalt at the beginning.”

– Hans Kasper

There is a simple principle when it comes to solving problems, which is often overlooked: In order to solve problems, we need to understand a problem only once.


Well, times honest: How often do you really have time for investing, actually analyze a problem? How many times have not just started with the approaches to the solution without actually look exactly what it is exactly? I, frankly, very often.

The insidious thing about our problems, we usually only the symptoms seen, but not the causes of the symptoms. Since the symptoms are present (they are the ones who complicate life), we make a rule it, just to solve these symptoms.

On problem and its causes, we still long not changed and therefore soon emerge other, often more serious symptoms.

Concrete examples? There are countless:

  • You can not go to sleep and go to the doctor. The will prescribe a sleeping pill, but do not track the cause of your sleep disturbance (eg a bad bed, psychological problems, etc.).
  • You have a little over this month and are now short of money.They coat your MRP and are liquid again, but do not analyze why you are not sufficient to use the money.
  • The work performance in your team / company decreases. They therefore make your employees more frequent meeting times from order to control the performance better, it missed but to find out why your people no longer as motivated and work well as before.

I think the principle is clear.

And so we come to the statement of the quote that I selected for this post: Taking care of a symptom, is in most cases the path of least resistance is because symptoms smaller and more manageable than the problem that triggers them.

This is true for just about every aspect of life. It is very human to deal with what is superficial and appears easier because, yes, it is usually significantly more effort to determine the cause.

But only if you detect a problem in its root, you have a chance to develop a solution that really creates the problem of the world. As long as you tinker with the symptoms, you can solve only the symptoms but not the problem. And so the supposed path of least resistance is often very quickly become a thorny path, with ever new obstacles.

20 ways you can solve problems

Problem solving skills


How do I solve a problem? For many creativity is still primarily interesting to solve problems or to create innovative new products. Well, that at least the areas where you visible “can make money” with her. But creativity is much more than just a “simple problem solver”. And there are also many ways to solve a problem without creativity.

Here I present to you once 20 possibilities, as you move your problems sometimes with and sometimes without creativity womb.

The choice of course is purely subjective, I could have continued to make a whole while. And even you will certainly have your own tips. Let yourself be inspired by just my.

Incidentally: tips and tricks on how to solve problems , can also be found in my course made easy “Creative thinking. With creativity more successful in business and occupation. ”

Including various creative techniques and what humans otherwise need to be creative.

1. Looking for the true problem

Not only those who indulge in hectic actionism can row past at the heart of the matter. If you do not know where your real problem is, you will lose at least time – and maybe you will never really solve your problem.

Of course you can, for example – as originally I – want to move at all costs. And that also makes sense when there are concrete reasons.

But if it is only a matter remedy the drawbacks of your present home, your problem is not the move, but it is the shortcomings of your current apartment. And the solution for this problem can be significantly cheaper, easier and better than would any relocation.

Ask yourself first always: What is going on here? What have I done exactly a problem? The more targeted you can search for it for ideas and solutions.

Read more about this in my articles:

  • Only those who know the real problem, can find the right ideas
  • Search By substantially after the actual problem

2. Make it so as always

This is a classic, and for good reason: Most really sufficient if we turn and consider how we have those or similar problems solved sooner our knowledge and experience.

But be careful, sometimes this attitude goes next: then Beware of blindness, custom case and other errors in reasoning, as I call them in this article .

3. Promote your inspiration

Some call it gut instinct, some the ‘7. Sense”. The fact is that we often feel intuitively where the dog is buried and how we could solve our problem.

Or more precisely: We would feel it when we a) allow themselves would us (many trust their instincts because unfortunately not) and if we had b) said intuition “top grip”.

Read in this article, how to promote your intuition better .

4. Promote your creativity

Creativity and intuition go hand in hand and condition are often mutually. If it’s not your stomach to help you, it may be a spontaneous idea or brainstorm.

So Promote to this end at least as intense creativity. How do you do that shows you example my little creativity test “And how creative you are” . And how do you find with a bit of creative attention ideas, check out my “10 Tips on how to find more easily ideas” .

5. questions other

A very simple thing you can do when you have exhausted your own spontaneous ideas and your intuition not really want: Ask other.

Others may already stumbled over your problem and got it solved. Or they can at least contribute tips and their own perspective or help with solution-promoting questions . And your creativity benefited if you do not just keep quiet for at nibble, but networking.

Here I have a few ideas on the subject of “creative networking” .

6. Write your problem

Well, your spontaneous, easy, obvious ways you have gone through. Your problem is still there. Then write it down.

For one way you can promote hitherto been surviving Inspiration. If you write your problem in detail and like to add even more relevant information you provide in your brain a particular “problem-solving network”. This is the basis for your brainstorms.

The more you now deal with your material, the more likely it is that your subconscious gets one or the other “push” or “Pulse” for a brainstorm.

Read more about this in my article “How to trigger flashes by writing” .

And secondly, it is also generally a good idea, in writing to deal with his problem. Our head bounces like between thoughts back and forth, he rejects or slows down with an “oh, now times let the nonsense”.

Written, it is much easier to stay on the ball and systematically to play through various solutions. Many thinking and creative techniques work this way.

7. Take your problem with issues apart

As I said, others can help to solve your problem by your thinking (and your blindness) cast by clever questions in a different path. The question “You have to actually move” so is a question.

You can disassemble itself with questions your problem as well. Pronounced helpful is the – only seemingly banal – question “why”.

I’ve exemplified by plays in this article: “How do you define the why-question problems better and solve” .

Here is an artist at odds with it, not enough to sell images.

The why-question reveals that it actually did not go to him about the money. He is more about the recognition of his vile people dismiss as a hobby doing – including free time window for it.According anderssehen from its solutions.

And yes, that is one part again in the direction of “the real problem found”, but on the other hand lead to concrete, actionable solutions.

Make always sure to ask the “right” questions. How to formulate a question, decides in which direction you are looking for solutions.

If you’re wondering “with which diet I can lose weight”, you might unnecessarily restrict your options. If you’re wondering about it, “which can take help me everything”, you might come up “before going to bed no more sumptuous meal” things like “more sports” or.

You see the difference? A “wrong” question can also “wrong” or at least greatly restricted solutions arise. Vote The more precisely you problem and question each other, the better you can direct your thinking and retrieve relevant associations and ideas. And: All the better to turn your answers.

Read more about this in my article “How do you solve problems with questions” .

8. Take your problem with the creative process apart

Also, the creative process is a way to systematically deal with your problem and targeted searches for solutions. Given associate a particular procedure with selected creative techniques – and so long until you gfunden an acceptable solution.

I have this process graphically displayed in a form: Form Creative problem solving process .

And here you can find further information: solve problems with the creative process

9. Apply creativity techniques

If you’re on the creative process and its techniques, you can resort to creative techniques also generally. Some of them will help you better to understand a problem, others are good to look for ideas.

Here I have a first bullet for you: Cheat Sheet creativity techniques . Other techniques can be found as a PDF form in my download area .

Or just go for a hearty brainstorming. Proceed as described, can be found here: “10 tips for a good brainstorming”

10. Record the results anticipated

Know the good fairy from a fairy tale? The fairy godmother grants wishes, creativity technique “miracle question” does well, and both will help you to solve your problem.As? By anticipating the result.

Suppose a miracle happens and your problem would be solved. What exactly has then changed or needs to change, so your problem is solved? Can you see this approach right? Then go him.

11. Shift your perspective and alienate you

Many creative techniques based on the principle of change of perspective and alienation. To overcome blockages such as blind spots lighter and sometimes find completely new solutions.

Even for that I have written several articles, here is an example: “How do you solve blockades by alienation” .

12. alienating you and you are looking fictitious helper

Well, we are still in the alienation. They wanted so overcome blind spots and Co.. Ask others, this is the easiest method. We had the top. But sometimes there are no other at hand, or their tips are not enough, or you want your craft suitcase just yet expand a little.

Then look for “fictitious workers”. Browse “mental models” . How might your favorite hero have solved the problem? How would your venerated great-aunt do?

13. Looking helper in themselves

Of course, your fictional helpers are somewhere yourself, accept their “voice” and place their answers before. After all, you are trying here to come to the personality and the solutions your mental role model as closely as possible.

More with itself and the different sides of your own personality to deal with the so-called “internal team” .

Each of us has different entities shares some more or less clearly “have your say” itself. (That is, determine our thinking and our behavior.) Let this “inner orchestra” in your Troubleshooting help. To get different perspectives and approaches from a single source.

14. Search for alternatives

Well, you get your problem is not solved, as you would like it resolved? Then look for alternatives. In most cases it will not be only one approach, but different ways. Then hold not convulsively your favorite variant fixed but your eyes open for more ways.

Here I have a few ideas on how to “think in alternatives” .

15. Do not see your problem positive

You have your problem is still not solved? Try it then with positive thinking.

Perhaps your problem is not a problem? My unusual move was not a problem, for example. On the contrary, if I was moved, I would have missed all the improvements and renovations which has kindly put it in my apartment, the landlord or is still stuck.

Or maybe your problem is actually not so bad and is blown up unnecessarily from you?

Much is in fact a matter of perspective. Similarly, if you should be difficult for this positive thinking, you can read here, how you think lighter positively with written thinking .

16. Make your problem a challenge

As I said, much is a matter of perspective. And sometimes we have our problem perhaps it is not yet solved, because we need to overcome certain fears, self-doubt, an inner aversion or an equally damaging inner critic who tells us that we all can not do that anyway.

Now you can do so a little work on themselves. Here I have a few suggestions for you:

  • Learn how you get said inner critic in the handle
  • Learn how to get rid of your self-doubt
  • Learn how to be courageous

Or work on the perception of your problem. Take it as the whiff of “sky, now I have to even deal with it”. Make it an interesting, attractive challenge you pursue with zeal.

How it works? For example, with NLP (neurolinguistic programming =). Imagine your problem in front of the spirit, you change it. Take the ugly colors of “I do not want” from him and dress it in a bright yellow “Yes, finally a problem I can solve.” And so on.

Here you can get a few tips for this: “How do you change with NLP your feelings”

17. About nothing falls

Take your time, do not rush things. Yes, I know that by myself, that you want to have a problem as soon as possible from the neck. But that is not always possible and sometimes not useful. Rub in the case only because on or solve your problem best semi.

It does have its advantages, to think slowly and proceed slowly. Some problems will be solved patiently. Some problems can be found only in the course of time a solution. And some problems can be solved with time even by itself. So why the stress.

Read a praise to the slow thinking.

Just be sure, not eternal hesitation and hesitation and waiting for the right time . So much discernment to distinguish one from the other, should be.

18. Meditate

Also walking towards deceleration. In addition to your subconscious the opportunity to deal without coercion and convulsive thinking about one thing: Meditate.

you will find the best ideas not in vain relaxing in the shower. And for some of the problems we have a solution might already in us. We are just not relaxed enough to see them.

Here I have a few tips on how to think and learn better with meditation.

19. Do you sleep over it

I could have put this tip at the very beginning, but so closes the circle beautiful. Sleeping on your problem.

With a little distance, things often look very different. Even in sleep your subconscious mind is relaxed and “without purpose at work”. And you can even use the sofa to add a bit deliberately poking your subconscious mind in the right direction. For example, by thoroughly cause your problem again to mind, including various details – and then plonk.

Because while you hinschlummern peaceful right to your brain, meanwhile, is busy busy to seek a solution for the task you have given him.

Put another way: Some are indeed found easily during sleep.

20. Let be the demanding perfectionist

So, and here comes a small, fine favorite tip from me, because I so much. Make this mistake Let be the demanding perfectionist.

Do you really need to solve your problem as perfect as possible and as quickly as possible in all the details? No? Or it may perhaps be a tangible blockade itself?

In most cases, we try to avoid conflicts out of the way. We run away as soon as the dispute is too large. As we abgewinnen conflicts something positive and can fix it at the right time, explains Carsten Alex in his article on “conflict management”.

Problem solving skills: Introduction to the subject

The term “conflict” is from the 18th century and is the Latin noun Conflictus borrowed. The traditions to this word rewrote once the collision of opinions, debates and the internal discord.

The constructive settlement of conflicts (the right time) was estimated by the early scholars and recognized as a prerequisite for the personal development of a human being.

In our culture today is true, however, for many a different rule of conduct: A conflict is to go out of the way! Many people experience conflict as something disturbing or even threatening.

It is rather much “swallowed” or reluctantly tolerated, as the problem to speak openly. With partially fatal consequences, because it is eating us and the pressure in the vessel (ie at heart of our personality) increases enormously.

Eventually – often much, much later (and not at the right time !), There is then the outbreak. Most of the blue and totally unexpected. Have not you ever wondered why a talk / discussion partners about such a trifle so upset?

With very high probability the real problem lies elsewhere. Often it is then the small things – just the trivia – which bring the final straw. Does this sound familiar?

What causes conflict?

Life in this fast paced world, which is subject to constant change, offers almost unlimited possibilities and a flood of information on an unprecedented scale, involves 24 hours a day potential for conflict. Why?

It make permanent successive diverse needs, motives and changing interests. In professional as private life. Politics, economy and society dictate little guidance and some years are unpopular decisions on the agenda.

How far a conflict may escalate, which is not detected early and as such, we recently at Stuttgart 21 know from painful experience. We were able to observe a great challenge is to get everyone under one roof.

Respecting the different interests, to hear the articulate opinions, anyone devalue it and to come at the end to a balanced decision that is supported and respected in the best case of all participants, is a difficult task.

From the ideal that there are conflict-free zones, you should best be addressed NOW. You should also not overlook a: conflicts indicate always that another interest. All energy is measured by the resistance!

Conflict species / -type

Conflicts are distinguished according to type and type:

External or internal conflict : Is it a conflict with a third party or to an inner conflict?

Open or concealed conflict : Is the conflict already known to all participants or he still smoldering under the covers?

Subject conflict or conflict of values: Is there a situation or a specific event that triggered the conflict, or personal beliefs of the trigger?

Furthermore, conflicts can still distinguish its type after. There are, inter alia, conflicts of interest, conflicts of objectives, review conflicts, assessment conflicts, distribution conflicts, relationship conflicts or role conflicts.

The process of conflict resolution is handled, the faster is more clarity about the roots of the prevailing conflict. For conflict resolution, however, you need one thing: conflict resolution skills!

Conflict resolution skills – what’s this?

Conflict management is the competence to adopt a conflict and to deal with it constructively. It is not just about finding a reasonable solution, but also to the creation of a framework that supports a “culture of debate”. But how?

An essential prerequisite for this is the realization that the efforts to resolve the conflict is the duty of all those involved. Only when the mobilization and participation of all parties to the conflict manages a viable and lasting solution can be achieved.

Sure it drops some of you already easy to tell your opinion or to defend personal interests. At the other of you who therefore somewhat difficult to do yourself, a petition and request at the same time: You Represented now your own interests and take responsibility for your life!

Conflict resolution skills can be learned, in the experts agree. And so we are then already reached the core: “The development of your problem solving skills”.

How do I resolve future conflicts?

You will be after reading this article faster than it used to be able to recognize conflicts and to meet you proactively. But one thing is seen as a basic requirement: you have to want it!

Imagine the future the following questions:

What is it really all about in this conflict?
Are me already the “roots” of the conflict known?
What are the consequences associated with the conflict?
How do the people affected feel currently doing?
Who takes advantage of the conflict?
In the sequel you actively seek dialogue with the conflicting parties or the parties to the conflict. It may be valuable to be guided by the following structure:
starting position
Description of the situation (currently)
Problem (factual reviewed sort type)
Objective (factual description)
Lösungsalternativen (best- / mid- / worst-case)
action plan

If you proceed in the future as described above, it could be that you’re wondering in a few months, why on constructive conflict had not pleased earlier. Remember: The more positive your attitude towards conflict, the more you will grow and your environment in mind.

This law applies, take my word!

Watch video Problem solving skills: 7 Steps to solve problem