Problem solving and decision making skills are essential for your success in anything.
If you’ve got a life, you’ve got at least one problem. And if you’ve got a busy, ambitious life, you need skills for solving problems.
ALL problems have creative solutions. As the great industrialist Henry J. Kaiser said, “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.”
So grab your problem solving coveralls and decision making thinking cap.
These 7 steps to problem solving and effective decision making will help you master problem solving skills and learn to enjoy the creative problem solving process in a way no school education can compete with.
Creative Problem Solving for Effective Decision Making
Whether for personal problem solving or business decision making, just relax and open your mind to the infinite realm of creative possibilities.
1. Identify and clearly define the problem. Problems are obstacles in the way of your goals. Be specific in describing what’s not working.
Example: I’ve got $31,317 in credit card debt and after making minimum monthly payments, I have nothing left to expand my business.
2. Decide what you want the outcome to be. In specific and positive words, describe what you want to achieve. Effective solutions are generally things you don’t want to do, so use your goal for motivation.
Example: I want to be debt-free with extra income to grow my business.
3. Consider the consequences – either way. Does the problem really need solving? Will it eventually go away given time? Or will it probably continue or get worse, if you do nothing?
Example: If I don’t solve this problem, I won’t have enough money to build my business and increase my income. If I do solve it, I can set myself up on a good budget, expand my business and make lots of money.
4. Brainstorm ways to solve your problem. Think of 3 or more possible solutions. Just let the ideas flow without judging them.
Stop eating out.
Take snacks everywhere.
Give up spending money on entertainment.
Make a list to drastically cut living expenses.
Find a good attorney and declare bankruptcy.
Offer some kind of service over the Internet.
Sell my home and move into cheap housing.
5. Evaluate and prioritize possible solutions. Now it’s time for decision making. Choose priorities from your list of possibilities.
A-1) Make a list to drastically cut living expenses.
A-2) Stop eating out. Take snacks everywhere.
A-3) Give up spending money on entertainment.
A-4) Offer some kind of service over the Internet.
B-5) Sell my home and move into cheap housing.
C-6) Find a good attorney and declare bankruptcy.
I can cut spending money for entertainment, new clothes, travel, cable TV, eating out, vacations, etc. and find free things to enjoy.
6. Make your plan of action and implement it. Figure out a strategy for putting your best priority decision into action.
Example: I’ll design a budget, stick to it and pay off one card at a time.
7. Analyze the effectiveness of your results. Keep checking on how you’re doing. Is your plan working out to get you what you want? If not, either refine your strategy or start all over again from step 2.
Creative problem solving skills and effective decision making help you get what you want in life. Use these 7 steps to problem solving and decision making whenever a problem is in the way of your success.
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