Everybody can benefit from having good problem solving skills as we all encounter problems on a daily basis. Some of these problems are obviously more severe or complex than others.
It would be wonderful to have the ability to solve all problems efficiently and in a timely fashion without difficulty, unfortunately though there is no one way in which all problems can be solved.
In order to be effective at problem solving you are likely to need some other key skills, which include:
Creativity - Problems are usually solved either intuitively or systematically. Intuition is used when no new knowledge is needed - you know enough to be able to make a quick decision and solve the problem, or you use common sense or experience to solve the problem. More complex problems or problems that you have not experienced before will likely require a more systematic and logical approach to solve, and for these you will need to use creative thinking.
Researching Skills - Defining and solving problems often requires you to do some research: this may be a simple Google search or a more rigorous research project.
Team Working - Many problems are best defined and solved with the input of other people. Team working may sound like a 'work thing' but it is just as important at home and school as well as in the workplace.
Emotional Intelligence - It is worth considering the impact that a problem and/or its solution have on you and other people. Emotional intelligence, the ability to recognise the emotions of yourself and others, will help guide you to an appropriate solution.
Risk Management - Solving a problem involves a certain amount of risk - this risk needs to be weighed up against not solving the problem.
Decision Making - Problem solving and decision making are closely related skills, and making a decision is an important part of the problem solving process as you will often be faced with various options and alternatives.
However well prepared we are for problem solving; there is always an element of the unknown. Although planning and structuring will help make the problem solving process more likely to be successful, good judgement and an element of good luck will ultimately determine whether problem solving was a success.
At Cheery Robot, we prepare the kids and teens of today for the fast changing world of tomorrow!
Cheery Robot teaches kids & teens computer science, coding, robotics and other valuable skills while having loads of fun in a collaborative and immersive way.