How to Develop Good Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving is an essential skill for both our personal and professional lives. Developing good problem-solving skills can make us more successful in our lives. Here are the top 10 ways to improve your problem-solving skills.

How to Improve Problem-Solving Skills
How to Improve Problem-Solving Skills

How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

Most of us suffer from a lot of daily problems that need more effective solutions. Some daily life problems are simple and can be resolved easily and some are more complex and affect how successful you are in your personal and professional lives. 

Problem-solving skill is based on motivating the individual to analyze and think to extract alternatives or hypotheses that help solve the problem. This skill is considered an important skill and is now taught all over the world.

Developing good problem-solving skills can make you more successful in your life. You can improve your problem-solving skills by following a few simple tips and tricks.

10 Ways to Develop Good Problem-Solving Skills

Here are 10 effective strategies you can follow to develop good problem-solving skills and get rid of complex problems in your life:

1. Define the problem clearly: 

The problem must be clearly identified and defined as generalizations and puzzles slow down the process of finding a proper solution to any problem.

In order to further clarify the problem and all matters related to it, data and information about it must be sufficiently collected, and you can get this by answering some questions depending on the type of problem.

Identify and list the possible causes of the problem. It is worth noting here that this list should be as long as possible, and then you can exclude the unlikely causes from it later, after answering the questions that should be based on the changes that can occur.

2. Simplify things:

Problems are often complex. If you are having a problem with finances, you may consider parts of the problem such as not getting enough money, spending too much, you may try to demand a raise or a change of job, or reduce your expenses.

You may also have problems with your partner, as your focus on all these things will make things more complicated.

But when you simplify things, it will become easier to solve problems. You can focus on a single step, problem, or matter instead of trying to solve all problems at the same time.

3. Focus on the solution, not the problem:

Neuroscientists have proven that it is difficult for the brain to find solutions if you focus on the problem.  There is a more positive way you can use to improve problem-solving skills such as recognizing the problem and then trying to search for possible solutions.

4. Search for an appropriate solution:

In order to improve problem-solving skills, you should focus on finding the right solution to the problem. Oftentimes, we look for quick fixes or solutions to the problem that may not be the right solutions.

For example, your problem may be that you are tired all the time, you may then assume that you need more sleep, however, the problem may not be a lack of sleep but an illness or other health condition. In this case, extra sleep is not the right solution, and it will not cure your fatigue because you did not treat the problem properly.

5. Take enough time to find the right solution:

Problems make you feel uncomfortable, so try to solve them as quickly as possible, but one of the most important tips for improving problem-solving skills is to slow down and take enough time to find the right solution instead of jumping to the first possibility that comes to mind.

Taking a break from the problem can also help you find the solution when you come back to it.

In addition, your subconscious will be looking for solutions at this time, so slowing down and not rushing may help you get new ideas to solve the problem.

6.  Ask yourself, why?

 A smart way to improve your problem-solving skills is to act like a little kid and ask why? For example, if your problem is that you are eating out instead of cooking a healthy meal, ask yourself:

Why do I eat outside? Because there is no fresh food in the house. 

Why is there no fresh food in the house? I didn’t have time to go shopping.

Why did I not have time to go shopping? I usually go after work on Thursday, but I need to work late.

Now you can understand why you are having trouble cooking fresh food, and there is a range of solutions available now, for example changing the time you go shopping or talking to your boss about your need for a day a week to go out early at a specific time.

7. Think differently:

You may get stuck in solving problems because you use the same methods even if they are not helpful. For example, many of us try to set a fitness schedule but don’t stick to it. If you think differently your mind may open up to different possible solutions and help you improve your problem-solving skills.

For example, if you always plan to go to the gym three times a week but don’t stick to it. Try thinking differently like bringing a gym at home, perhaps in the form of a personal trainer or even watching a YouTube video, or instead of going to the gym, you can go to a different place, like a park, lake, or beach.

8. List the possible solutions (options): 

Finding alternative solutions from anywhere is a waste of time, so review the procedures and policies that aim and lead to finding an appropriate solution to the problem.

You can get suggestions and ideas from your subordinates, colleagues, or people who have gone through this same problem and managed to solve it. 

Often we feel panic and anxiety when facing a problem, however, panic and anxiety will seriously affect your ability to make clear and innovative decisions, so, in order to develop your problem-solving skill, first, take a deep breath, go for a walk or do anything that will make you feel comfortable.

You can write down every possible problem solution you can think of, even if it seems silly, that might lead to a better idea or might be something that can be developed into a great idea.

9. Evaluate alternative solutions and choose:

Analyze the problem’s raw data and all prospective for their suitability and evaluate alternative solutions in an arithmetical manner.

One of the most important factors in evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative is the information collected to identify the problem.

Before starting judgment and evaluating alternative solutions, determine the criteria by which evaluation and judgment are carried out, all the different standards and aspects must be included in the solution.

After you have evaluated the alternative solutions and the options presented, you must choose an appropriate solution from among the alternative solutions and make the right decision, and the decision-making process must be based on rationality and methodology, and you can use a little bit of your professional intuition.

10. Implement the decision: 

When you reach the right and appropriate decision to solve the problem, you must implement it directly and without any delay.

Monitor the progress of the implementation of the decision properly. The work progress should be monitored and the required goals should be checked, in order to re-evaluate the results and work to search for new strategies during the course of work.

After implementing the appropriate solution, it is necessary to work on evaluating the results and making sure that the solution taken is correct.


These tips for improving your problem-solving skills may seem very simple, but they can have a profound impact on your life. 

Improving your problem-solving skill can make you more effective at work, at home, and in your relationships, and can also reduce stress and help you take control of what’s going on in your life.

Note: This article was first published in The Scientific World with the title “How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills: Top 10 Ways“.

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