The 3-Step Problem Solving Method

As humans, we face problems every day. Your client can suddenly file a complaint on that project or your boss can suddenly pick up on an error that has actually been there for months.

While addressing problems, we sometimes go into the fight with a hot head which can cause more damage than good. Here are the 3 steps to act as your guide when solving problems.

problem solving

1.     Acknowledge the problem

Even though it is obvious, many people find it hard to actually admit that they have a problem. When a project goes wrong, more often than not, they would try to save their own face for the moment, and when their manager finds the error, it has been weeks too late to repair the damage. Acknowledging and stating the problem with a cool head leads to better understanding of what’s at stake and thus better chance to find the resolution.

2.     Plan the next steps

When faced with a problem, it is best to sit down, take a step back and jot down all the pros and cons and plan the next steps with these in mind. If it is decided to go forward with this project, what would be the risks and how can they be minimised? If it is decided to drop the project, would it harm the company even more? Seek advice from the seniors if you must.

3.     Take action

Most people stop on the second step, which is planning. Even after weighing in everything, it is still hard to 100% predict the outcome. This can cause people to just wait and do nothing instead of taking real actions. Remember that the problem will still be there if you decide to not take action, and it may even go from bad to worse.

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