Raise awareness – One of the best ways to improve your problem solving skills is to become more aware of the problems you face in your work or daily life. By being more aware of the challenges you face, you also become more aware of potential solutions that could help you overcome these problems.
Use critical thinking and analysis skills – Critical thinking is the process of examining and evaluating information and coming to logical conclusions based on this analysis. At its core, critical thinking is about weighing up different options and selecting the one that will produce the best results.
Practice creative thinking – Creative thinking allows you to come up with new ideas or solutions that you might not have otherwise considered. Creative thinking is different from critical thinking in that it allows you to explore all the different avenues of a problem and generate as many different potential solutions as possible. When you’re done, you can then selectively choose which ones are best based on their potential impact, costs and benefits.
Be open-minded – Being open-minded when problem solving allows you to explore all the different avenues of a problem, but also consider other potential solutions. Being open-minded means being willing to consider all the possible solutions, even if they are different from what you may have first come up with.
Being too quick to jump to conclusions – Deciding too quickly that you know all the possible causes of a given problem can hinder your ability to come up with effective solutions. This is because you’re not taking into account all the possible causes and therefore coming up with limited solutions.
Being too focused on one solution – Being too focused on one solution can hinder your ability to explore all the different avenues of a problem. It can also cause you to miss out on other potential solutions that may be better than your original selection.
Ignoring the benefits and costs – Another mistake is to ignore the benefits and costs associated with each potential solution that you come up with. When you ignore these factors, you risk making a decision that’s irrational and not in your best interest.