The process to solve problems in defined in this article relating to your mental, emotional and physical approach to solve a problem.
“Problems are a part of life”, it’s easier said than accepted, isn’t it? The world in which we live is full of problems and we are in the midst of a whole stream of problems and issues but we tend to avoid it rather than solving it. Before understanding or finding a way to solve a problem first of all we should understand what is a problem? well the dictionary definition of a problem is “ a question to be solved”. True indeed but try to understand it this way, a problem is an impasse or a deadlock of thought and action. It’s in the mind first when you accept a difficult situation or a challenging scenario you are in and your mind somehow stops and cannot guide you towards alternatives then you can term that situation or condition as a problem. The best and only judge of declaring a situation or condition as a problem is the individual who is facing it, nobody else can term or decide whether a particular circumstance are a problem or not a problem it’s the individual only who can declare or confirm it.
Problem Solving is more of a mindset than a skill. It is a skill and there are techniques to it but the individual’s perception and attitude plays a very important role in it. I will first cover the mindset part then the skills and techniques part. As Einstein has very beautifully quoted “We cannot solve problems at the same level of thinking at which we created them” it shows that we have to raise the level, the level of thinking to solve a problem. When a problem arises we focus on that condition and negative thoughts creep in the mind we start thinking on the current level where the problem is and do not focus on the solution or outcome.
There is a three step process of problem solving at the mental level first know exactly what you want i.e. in a problematic situation define where you have to come out of it where you want to be after resolving it. Then believe that it will happen and belief is always the unseen you don’t have to see to believe anything rather believing is seeing, faith is always blind. After you have believed that you will solve the problem then actually use your visualization and imagination and see the picture feel the picture, hear the sounds of the situation where the problem has been resolved. Follow this three step simple process at the mental level and you will start getting your answers, things will start happening, the required people will start contacting you.
I will further describe visualization and imagination here, as it is also a very good tool to solve any problem or achieve any thing. There are five senses, which we have through which we get and process information and take decisions. These five senses are operated at a conscious level like when we go for a movie we see (visual) it, feel (kinesthetic) it and hear (auditory) it with our senses. Imagination is simply thinking about the outcomes or solutions in such a manner that we are seeing the conditions, feeling the emotions attached when the solution will take place and hear the sounds which might be associated with the solution.
We will now discuss the two best mind power programs i.e. Silva Ultra Mind Control and Neuro Linguistics Programming (NLP) and what techniques they offer to solve problems. Well in Silva Mind Control there is technique called Three Scenes Technique in the first scene visualize the problem concentrate on that scene recall details of what the situation looks like just in front on your imagination screen. After making good study of the existing situation, then shift your awareness to the left, approximately 15 degrees. In a second scene, to the left of the first screen, use imagination to mentally picture yourself taking actions and doing something to implement your decisions (Jose Silva 41). Now in the third scene, another 15 degrees farther to your left use your imagination to create and project an image of the situation the way you desire for it to end up. All this will be done in a state of Alpha Level, which the Silva method teaches which, could be learned by doing any Silva Ultra Mind Training.
One of the techniques in NLP is the “Resource Anchoring” (Joseph O’ Connor & John Seymour 56) technique which is to focus on the problem first with all your senses how you feel when you are in the problem what do you see what do you hear and while doing this focus on a point or see a point of attention. When done see a point now 20 degrees above the level of the first focus, now imagine with your senses what will be the situation when the problem is solved and your desired state is achieved. When done copy and paste from the top point of focus (the solution) to the initial point of focus (the problem) copy all the feelings, the hearings, the tastes, the smell and the sights on to the problem.
Now we come to the second part that are the practical or action based techniques or skills required for solving problems at different levels. There is a process to solving problems, which will be described below step by step
- Define the problem, be clear about the objective
First of all you have to know exactly what the problem is and what you want it to end up with. You have to be absolutely clear about your objective what do you want? What should you see when the problem is solved.
- Gather Information
The second step is to gather as much information as possible about the problem and possible solutions. Gather information, which you feel, may not be needed for the solution but is somehow linked to the problem and the related persons or processes.
Then do the analysis part of the problematic situation do a root cause or a fish bone analysis. This is a great way to know the causes of the particular problem and when you are aware of the causes while doing this exercise you will automatically be focusing on solutions or solutions will be coming to your mind.
- Generate alternatives
After you have analyzed the root causes then generate alternatives think of three or more solutions to a particular problem and then decide the best solution and act on with conviction. If you have a team you could go for multi voting i.e. discussing the alternatives and then taking votes from all the team members what they think is the best solution to implement.
After the decision for solving a particular problem has been implemented then when a particular period of time is gone, this time period will depend upon the nature of the problem, review the whole situation how did the solution went, what are the things which are missing to be implemented, was it successful or not, what other actions needs to be taken to further improve the scenario.
Perhaps this is the most rewarding blessing of a problem if you keep it in practice to standardize your processes and systems after a problem occurs to stop its repeating, then you have not only solved problems but you have also created systems and standards which will improve your productivity and minimize reoccurring of problems and errors.