The Problem Solving Approach

Sometimes this involves teamwork, since two (or more) minds are often better than one.

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Poor communication at this stage can derail a project from the start.

For our purposes, we will use Barry Hyman’s Problem Formulation model This model can apply to a communications task as well as more physical design tasks.

It could be as simple as it’s 8pm, I haven’t had dinner yet, and I’m hungry.

Use Hymen’s Problem Formulation schema to formally define the problem — without proposing any particular solutions.

This requires that you gather and evaluate data, isolate possible contributing circumstances, and pinpoint the chief causal factors that need to be addressed in order to resolve the problem.

Examples: Diagnosing Illnesses, Identifying the Causes for Social Problems, Interpreting Data to Determine the Scope of Problems, Pinpointing Behaviors Contributing to Marital Distress, Recognizing Invalid Research Models Once you’ve determined what is causing a problem, it’s time to come up with possible alternative solutions.A teacher might need to figure out how to improve the performance of her students on a writing proficiency test.A store manager might be trying to reduce theft of merchandise.You don't have to provide a cookie-cutter answer.Employers are always eager for individuals who can think outside of the box and present new solutions, especially when old ones aren't working.Here are the steps most commonly used in problem-solving, their associated skills, and examples of where they are utilized in different career sectors.In order to solve a problem, you must first figure out what caused it.In nearly every career sector, problem-solving is one of the key skills that employers seek in job applicants.It is hard to find a blue-collar, administrative, managerial, or professional position that doesn't require problem-solving skills of some kind.Considered a soft skill (a personal strength, as opposed to a hard skill that is learned through education or training), an aptitude for creative and effective problem-solving is nonetheless one of the most valued attributes employers seek in their job candidates.For example, a cable television technician might be trying to resolve a customer problem with a weak signal.

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