Relationship Problem Solving

After you've practiced them a few times, they'll become second nature to you -- enough that you can deepen and enrich them to suit your own needs and nature.

(Note that it might be more your nature to view a "problem" as an "opportunity".

However, the following basic guidelines will get you started.

Don't be intimidated by the length of the list of guidelines.

Note the difference between "important" and "urgent" problems.

Often, what we consider to be important problems to consider are really just urgent problems. For example, if you're continually answering "urgent" phone calls, then you've probably got a more "important" problem and that's to design a system that screens and prioritizes your phone calls.Or, you are feel very guilty about your role in the problem, you may ignore the accountabilities of others.At this point, it's useful to keep others involved (unless you're facing a personal and/or employee performance problem). Very simply put, brainstorming is collecting as many ideas as possible, then screening them to find the best idea.For example, the rational approach, described below, is often used when addressing large, complex matters in strategic planning.A major advantage of this approach is that it gives a strong sense of order in an otherwise chaotic situation and provides a common frame of reference from which people can communicate in the situation.For many people it is an approach to organizational consulting.The following quote is often used when explaining the organic (or holistic) approach to problem solving.It's critical when collecting the ideas to not pass any judgment on the ideas -- just write them down as you hear them.(A wonderful set of skills used to identify the underlying cause of issues is Systems Thinking.) A person with this preference often prefers using a comprehensive and logical approach similar to the guidelines in the above section.It helps a great deal to verify your problem analysis for conferring with a peer or someone else.If you discover that you are looking at several related problems, then prioritize which ones you should address first.

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