The life of every adult human being is filled with obstacles that serve to cultivate his or her willpower, decisiveness and analytical thinking. Every complicated predicament teaches us something. That is why before starting to solve a problem, you’d better take a step back and look at the big picture. Understanding the challenge is crucial to the solution. After all, this was Albert Einstein’s motto!
We at Getzkick are not afraid of difficulties and hope that the advice listed below will help you find a way out of any perplexing situation.
Redefine the problem
When Toyota’s top manager asked his subordinates to come up with ways of increasing their work productivity, he got nothing but puzzled silence in return. He then redefined the task, making it sound like this: «Find ways of making your work less grueling.» A flood of interesting proposals followed.
This goes to prove that choosing the right words always plays an important role in assessing the problem. When you’re faced with a difficult task, make sure you formulate it properly.
Take a ’bird’s-eye view’ of the problem
Once, a heavy truck got stuck under a low bridge. The fire department, the police and other emergency services all tried possible and impossible means in their attempts to free the vehicle, but to no avail. The driver was beginning to despair when a passing schoolboy suddenly came up with a brilliantly simple solution — why not let some air out of the truck’s tires?
Each new challenge represents a small part of something bigger. Just as you can approach a problem from different sides, so, too, can you peruse it from different «heights.» Whenever you start to feel like you’re drowning in small issues, losing sight of the main problem, try to rise above the details and take a more general look at your task.
Study the problem from within
Attempt to separate the problem into smaller tasks, each of them more specific than the original issue. This will help you gain a clearer understanding of the situation at hand.
Try to think of ways in which the situation might develop
Before you start solving the problem, make sure that you’ve thought of as many ways in which the situation might develop. Attempting to predict various outcomes of your actions creates a wonderful opportunity for finding new and all-encompassing solutions.
Use maximally effective language
-Create positive motivations.
Affirmative sentences have higher motivating power and help to visualize the benefits that finding a solution to the problem will produce. There is a real difference between an instance when someone says: «I’m going to quit smoking» and an instance when phrases like «I’m going to up my energy level» or «I’m going to prolong my life» are used.
-Formulate the problem as a question.
The human brain is fond of riddles. When presented with an interesting question, our brain keeps searching for an answer even without us being aware of it.
Make the problem look fascinating
Try to put yourself in a good mood when formulating the problem. Make sure to make the task ahead appear enticing and rewarding. It’s one thing to say, «I’m going to create a blog,» and another thing entirely to set out to «inspire readers to live a happy life.»
Put things upside-down
Yet another useful trick is to imagine the worst thing that could happen if you fail to solve the problem correctly. If you want to win, you must first learn to visualize your possible defeat and its likely causes. Once you manage to do that, it’ll be a simple matter of not repeating those mistakes in real life.
Collect useful facts
Investigate the causes and circumstances that led to the creation of the problem. If the problem involves too many unanswered questions, fact-finding can prove to be much more effective than any attempts to find an immediate solution.
For example, if your spouse accuses you of inattention, formulating the problem like this: «You never listen to me!» it’s hard to think of an immediate solution. But, if he or she agrees to be more specific and explains: «When we’re talking, you never look me in the eyes!» then you know exactly what to do.
As soon as you start giving more attention to formulating the problem at hand, you’ll realize that this requires more effort than actually solving the problem. But the result is definitely worth it!