CHECKLIST
FOR PROBLEM RESOLUTION



It is very important that individuals develop general thinking and problem solving skills in order to live a better life and to handle life as it comes up.  We recommend classes in logical thinking, decision making, and problem solving. (See the relevant pieces on this site by entering the terms into the search engine.  Some linkings are in the box on the left. A form of mini-classes is included in the videos on my YouTube channel, which you can link to from:  KahunaKeith YouTube Channel, Contents, Links, Guide. )


DEFINITION, CONNOTATION OF "PROBLEM"

Definition:  Any question, or matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty.

Connotation:  We assume it is “bad” to have a problem and we make up consequences that are unrealistic and sometimes catastrophic in exaggeration.

This connotation is a “problem” in itself and a new perspective could be useful.   

Other perspectives:

   Problem:  "When an obstacle separates the present state from the goal state."
   Problem:  "When you can't move forward because of equal and opposing forces."

My alternate definition:  It is the "gap" between what is the current state or result and what is the desired result.  Problem solving then is about "closing the gap." A problem need not be the cause of upset.


THE CHECKLIST

Standard problem solving techniques:

Use this as a checklist to prompt thought or to find something you might not have considered or done.  The use of the forms provided elsewhere in these writings could be productive.  You might print them all out and consider which you would use.  (See “Problem Solving Forms” packet.)

1. ID and define problem

   __ Effects
   __ Causes (the source of the real problem)
   __ Agree it is a problem
   __ Make sure understanding exists, create it
   __ Use discussion

Other factors to consider:
   __ List all obstacles
   __ Identify (potential) problems and solutions
   __ Break problem into component parts.
   __ Define goals – what do I (we) want to achieve
   __ Psych barriers mostly
   __ Blindspots
   __ Use factual evidence
   __ Identify assumptions
   __ Apply reasoning    
   __ Is the cause and effect here rational?  Coincidental?
   __ Logically consistent?

2.  Seeking solutions:

    __ What other information, perspectives, and learning are needed
    __ What ways can I get those?
          __ Use extensive writing as a discovery technique, possibly __ show to others
          __ Speak with a __ coach, __ counselor, __ very knowledgeable, rational friend
          __ Brainstorming*,  __ Use a focus group to come up with more solutions. 
          __ List 20 solutions**
   __ What are the prospective solutions?
   __ Which are acceptable
   __ Decide and agree on solution
   __ Set the agreement

__ Any new potential problems caused by the solution?

Other factors related to solutions:

    __ Clear up any negative reactions that impede problem solving.

    __ Make sure there aren’t inaccurate predictions


__ The bigger the problem, the more concentration and urgency in solution


*Wild ideas are encouraged and not commented on, in fact approved of!  Later, we go back through and eliminate what isn’t workable.
** See form:  Challenges – 20 ideas. (To get a form, enter the title in the search engine.