Understand the Problem - Deepstash

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A Systematic Approach to Solving Just About Any Problem

Understand the Problem

Understand the Problem

Often the most difficult step, because it's easy to focus on the wrong part of the problem, or look at the problem too broadly.

The first thing you need to do is reduce it to its simplest and purest form so you know exactly what you're dealing with. While you're doing this, you need to ask yourself questions to make sure you're focusing on the right things. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Describe, don’t define

Good problem-solving starts with an accurate description of the situation. Not with a definition.

If you start defining the problem (for e.g, calling it an “accounting problem” or a “m...

For a solid description of a situation
  • Get the story of the problem - a timeline with its evolution.
  • Make lists of what you know and what you need to investigate
  • Ask the journalist’s basic questions: who, what, when, where, and why.
  • Refine your answers by comparing the situation you don’t like to one that’s acceptable.
Optimal problem-solving meetings
  • Schedule them early, before people have used up their thinking and attention on less important things. 
  • Eliminate distractions: put laptops and phones on a table at the back.
  • For serious problems, do more than one meeting. Do some work on the situation, then let things rest. Some people may have ideas the interim that may prove helpful.
Use the why lens

Great leaders only solve problems within their control. Ones connected to their biggest why. They ask:

  • Is this our problem?
  • Why should we solve this problem?
  • What ...
Problems as opportunities

Problems fuel great leaders, providing opportunities to learn and grow to the next level. 

The greater the problem, the hungrier they are for a solution. Leaders like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates view problems as golden opportunities to disrupt the market and revolutionize the customer experience.

Acknowledging the problem

Great leaders acknowledge there is a problem and demonstrate the severity of the problem and the benefit of the solution to stakeholders, partners, and shareholders. 

This way, the leader not only takes responsibility for making the problem transparent, but he or she also explores different dimensions of the problem, consequently benefiting from others’ ideas.

Puzzles and Cognitive Abilities
Puzzles and Cognitive Abilities

People have loved puzzles since the stone age. It is a phenomenon that is now becoming a craze.

Being able to solve puzzles provides us with an ‘aha’ moment and improves our pattern rec...

Math And Music

The ability to solve complex puzzles involves being able to process, match and synthesize a lot of different kinds of information at the same time.

Mathematics and Music are two areas that are different yet have connections in puzzle solving.

A Playful State of Mind

Paradoxically, the more you get inside a puzzle with seriousness and increased effort, the harder it becomes. Just like the losing chess player who is leaning too close to the board, solving puzzles is not about sheer effort, but a playful, relaxed state of mind.

Being able to be non-serious and enjoying the moment helps form the necessary connections that are hindered if the mind is in stress.