Problem solving: Part 1, Part 2.
Sometimes problems seem to come 'in bunches', and/or a particular problem just feels overwhelming. I am aiming to walk you through my step-by-step strategies and techniques. I also have a fabulous decision-making tool for you on the next page.
Uncovering essential information as part of your problem solving strategy, will prevent you:
Abstract and over-generalised thinking causes minor issues to appear much larger and significant problems to appear unmanageable. Being quite specific about what exactly the problems is, will give you a more realistic picture and a better handle on the problem. You are less likely to feel overwhelmed with my problem solving strategies.
You may also want to amplify your critical thinking with the Improve your critical thinking hypnosis download (via my Hypnotherapy online FAQ page). Not sure about hypnotherapy? Read how it works on my page Self hypnosis instruction and online hypnosis.
The only way to solve a problem is to change the thinking that created it."Albert Einstein (theoretical physicyst, 1879 - 1955)
The first problem solving strategies is: start with the problem that is quickest to resolve. However, if you have had to resolve that problem several times - it needs to be analysed to discover its root. Your problem solving technique has been to yank at the weed, leaving the real trouble spot intact.
Is the issue you are dealing with a 'people problem'? Do, as part of your problem solving strategy, familiarise yourself with the human givens ( see link further down ) - our innate resources and essential emotional needs. Taking our human givens into account you and the people around you will thrive much better and problems will be resolved that much easier.
Dealing with a relationship problem? Not sure whether to go or stay? The problem solving tool to use for that is: end relationship quiz.
The case study below is a very simple example of how a problem seems to have disappeared. When you are dealing with a 'people problem' your problem solving strategies should include techniques to help calm someone right down. If you are feeling particularly emotional, then you too will feel much more capable if you calm yourself, before you carry on with your attempts to solve the problem(s).
I am a school/college counsellor as well as a couple counsellor and work-place counsellor/welfare adviser for one of the emergency services.
My client here was a young person in a college, but could equally have been an adult with a couple relationship problem, or a troubled employee. The crux of the problem was not the situation itself, but my client's perception of the situation.
Limited thinking - a case study
Jenny was unhappy, hated college, and decided she was going to change college after her exams. She did not want to do the all important final two years. Jenny was the victim of emotional ‘black en white thinking’.
First of all, I spend some time calming her right down. Only then did I work with her to look at all the factors that 'created' the problem. I helped her to think clearly by asking the right questions (see steps below). We explored what exactly was so awful and how often she was exposed to that ‘awfulness’. I also asked her who and what she liked and valued.
What was the exact problem?
She disliked two teachers, one of whom she only saw one hour a week. She found one subject really hard, but had not asked for help. She had fallen out with a friend, but had already made new friends.
What was the real problem?
The real problem was her perception of the situation. Once her perception had changed, there simply was no problem.
Much to her surprise she found that things were really not so bad at all and she was happy to stay.
The real problem may actually be very different than the one you think you have! Take your time with my problem solving techniques - don't rush the steps. Don’t worry even if it takes you several days to answer the questions - think of it as a 'project' and a new start.
Make/pour yourself a drink - kick your shoes off and start.
Take a big sheet of paper, draw a circle for each of the contributing factors and write in the details to start off your problem solving strategy.
Questions about hypnosis? See: Hypnosis online FAQ.
Friend or foe - how are they detracting or contributing to your problem and problem solving strategies.
The most important aspect of any problem solving strategies is looking at your resources for solving the problem(s).
Fine-tune your relationship and lift your spirits!
You may also be interested in:
Natural depression treatments
Dealing with criticism
Anger management tips
Breaking up tips
Managing stress in the workplace
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