The Importance of Problem Solving as a skill

problem solving
Image Credits: The Pitcher

Problem Solving as an ability is a life skill wanted by many, as it is essential to our day-to-day lives. Whether we are at home, or school or work, we are thrown curve balls by life almost every single step of the way. And how do we resolve those? You guessed it right – Problem Solving.

In this fast-changing era, employers often recognize everyday problem solving as integral to the success of their organizations. Developing a problem-solving element for employees can be used for practical and creative solutions, and to show independence and initiative to employers. This skill can empower you in your personal and professional life.

Solving problems can sometimes be an unconscious effort, as we solve problems every day without really thinking about them. It just happens. Nevertheless, in order to be effective at problem solving, some other key skills have to be kept in mind.

  • Emotional Intelligence– It is the capacity to be aware of, or to recognize the emotions of oneself, or others and to handle interpersonal relationships with empathy.  A problem or its solution usually creates an impact on you or others. It is worth considering, as it will help guide you to an appropriate solution. It is imperative to have strong observational skills.
  • Creativity– There are two ways to solve problems, either intuitively or systematically. Intuition is used when no new knowledge is needed which results in a quick decision using common sense or experience. A systematic or logical approach is used if the problems are more complex along with some creative thinking. Using critical thinking and attention to detail helps in assessing the results.
  • Team Work– You may not have all the answers to your problems. That is when the input of other people comes in handy. Whether at home or school, ‘team work’ is an important aspect to problem solving. Someone may be more of an innovative thinker comparatively, so you could play well with the team in order to demonstrate persistence to explore potential solutions. Both communication and negotiation is important at this point.
  • Researching Skills– Solving problems often requires a little bit of research. It can be a simple Google Search or an in-depth research project.
  • Risk Management– A certain amount of risk is always involved when solving problems. The key is to weigh those risks against the problem like a pros and cons list. Then, take the leap of faith.
  • Decision Making– Problem Solving and Decision Making go hand in hand as a skill set. In order to solve a problem, a decision has to be made. Sometimes, having enough information about the problem is what can influence a decision. Demonstrating lateral thinking and analytical abilities is important rather than accepting issues at face value. It will help you to assess what is exactly going on.

Problem solving is important in every trade. There is no aspect of life that is immune to the regular onslaught of troubles. Improving your problem solving skills will give you a divergent edge that will certainly make you stand out from the crowd.


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