How To Investigate A Problem – Time and time again, it’s impossible to solve a problem when we see a problem just waiting to happen. – Robert Schuller
This is the second part of a five-part series of articles exploring the process of creative problem solving. Each article builds on the next; Walks you through a series of steps to help you solve any life or business challenge you’re facing. Here are links to all the articles in this thread:
How To Investigate A Problem
As you read this article, it is highly recommended that you have a problem that you can work on. This will help you put these ideas into action quickly. Only this way you will get the best value from the process.
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The purpose of this step is to gain more clarity about your current reality regarding the problem you are working on. To do this, you will need to do some research and possibly a fact-finding mission to help you gather all the information you need to effectively solve this problem.
This process may seem simple enough, however, as long as the information you gather helps solve the problem, the insights you gain from this research make all the difference. Therefore, it is very important that – going through this phase – you can organize this information in a way that helps you understand the facts about the topic.
Your goal here is to embark on a fact-finding mission to help you gather everything you can about your problem and the circumstances surrounding it. You basically aim to get a 360-degree view of your problem; Leave no stone unturned.
This truth-seeking mission is definitely worth it. Most of the time we usually try to solve the problem without knowing all the facts. Then, as a result, we make assumptions and jump to conclusions, which can often lead us astray.
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To avoid these pitfalls, let’s explore the circumstances surrounding your problem by looking at four main areas:
Let us first consider the root of the problem; Discover how it all began. Ask yourself:
What are the symptoms of this problem? When did this problem start? How specific is this problem to begin with? How often does this problem occur? When exactly did it happen? How exactly did this happen? Where exactly does it happen? When will it not happen?
When answering this question, we want to be very specific. We want to know the why, how, when and where of the problem. The more information and facts we have about how the problem actually arose, the better insights we can possibly gather to help us solve the problem.
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So, for example, we see the example of the problem of not being able to pay our bills by the end of this month, it is clear that the problem is not just revealed. In fact, the root of this problem may have started years ago and you are only feeling its effects today.
With this understanding in mind, to solve this problem you must solve it at its root. For example, this problem could be effectively caused by poor financial choices you made years ago, or it could be caused by restrictive financial habits you developed over time. Of course, as discussed in the first part of this series, there may be a psychological reason why you are experiencing this problem. Because of this, it is important to consider this when you are doing your research.
What is the positive side of this problem? What went really well? What do I want to do?
This may seem like a strange question. Problems are usually not good, right? However, the positive side of this problem can be worth it.
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Now, of course not all problems have a real silver lining. But until you consider it, you really don’t know. Using our example of not being able to pay your bills on time, you could say that the silver lining here is that it allows you to budget, ask for a raise, change your career path. , or gives the opportunity to start. Fund building is essential. All of these options may not help you solve your current problem, however, they can definitely set you up for a future without these problems.
Alternatively, it is good that you already have a budget to help you manage your money better. However, you may need to make some short-term sacrifices to adjust this budget and pay those bills on time.
Who is involved in this matter? How are these people involved? Who is affected by this problem? How are they affected? Who is specifically responsible for this problem? Where is the responsibility? Who specifically perpetuates this problem? Who in particular could benefit from solving this problem?
You, of course, are often involved in these problems, affected by them, and maybe even blamed for them. However, other people can interfere. For example, your family may be affected by this problem, your power company may be partly to blame for overcharging you over your last term, and your manager may not be able to get you a promotion at the job you want. can prevent from want to
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All the persons/companies mentioned above are involved in this matter in one way or another. The key to moving forward is to determine where the responsibility lies and what you can do to influence each party to effectively resolve the issue.
Now of course, in terms of responsibility, whatever happens, we take full responsibility for the matter. Yes, other people and companies may have wronged you, but if you don’t take responsibility for your own suffering, you can’t really hope to solve your problem effectively. This, of course, means to complain, make excuses or blame. Take responsibility for your problem and commit to solving it successfully using your own resources and resources.
Where do I have control? I have some kind of influence anywhere? Where am I completely out of control?
For example, you have control over yourself and the choices you make going forward. You may not have control over the decisions your manager makes or the billing company’s budget, but you do have influence over these matters. And your influence depends primarily on your ability to persuade other people to do what you want.
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Then, of course, there are things that you have absolutely no control over; And whatever is for you, be it. There’s no point in stressing about things you can’t do. Instead, focus your energy on the things you can control and influence. Over time, your influence can increase greatly, but in the beginning you have to take the first step to get the ball rolling.
With all of this in mind, it’s also important to consider any patterns or trends you notice that will help you find the best way forward. These patterns or trends can provide insight into how your future will look in the coming years.
For example, say you notice that you are mismanaging your finances. If you continue down this path, you could find yourself in huge debt for years to come. Or while going through old utility bills you realize your electric company is the most expensive on the market. If you can take the time to shop around, you may find a great deal that can save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year. However, unless you spend time physically observing these patterns/trends, you really don’t know what opportunities you may be missing.
Now that you’ve completed your fact-finding mission, it’s time to get a little more clarity on those facts to help you better understand the problem.
Infographic: How To Investigate A Problem
As you go through this step of the process it is important that you do not jump to conclusions or make assumptions about the problem, the circumstances surrounding the problem, and/or the people involved in the problem. To avoid this trap, you need to think logically about the issues surrounding the facts. For example, ask yourself:
Is there enough evidence to support this? Do I need more information? Is this fact or just opinion? What if my assumptions about this are completely wrong? Is there stupid?
What does this data tell me? What does it all mean? Do I see the whole picture or just part of the picture? How do I know it’s right?
In order to get all your facts straight, it’s important that you’re open to the idea of questioning conventional wisdom. What is reasonable may not be right
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