Wednesday, April 11, 2007

10 Steps to Solving Any Problem

Ten Steps To Solving Any Problem - by Brian Tracy and Colin Rose

The more organized and systematically you deal with any problem, the more positive and creative you will be in solving it. Here is a 10-step method you can use to think systematically. With this method, you develop your creativity to genius levels.

1. Change your language from negative to positive. Instead of using the word "problem," use the word "situation," or call it a challenge or an opportunity. If a sale falls through, you can say something like this is an interesting challenge. It's an opportunity for me to improve my sales effectiveness so this doesn't happen again in the future?

2. Define your situation or difficulty clearly. What exactly is the challenge you are facing? What is causing you the stress and anxiety? What is causing you to worry? Why are you unhappy? Write it out clearly in detail.

3. Ask, what else is the problem??Don't be satisfied with a superficial answer. Look for the root cause of the problem, rather than getting sidetracked by the symptom. Approach the problem from several different directions.

4. Ask yourself, what are my minimum boundary conditions??What must the solution accomplish? What ingredients must the solution contain? What would your ideal solution to this problem look like? Define your parameters clearly.

5. Pick the best solution by comparing your various possible solutions against your problem, on one hand, and your ideal solution, on the other. What is the best thing to do at this time under the circumstances?

6. Before you implement your decision, ask, what's the worst possible thing that can happen if this decision doesn't work??Before you make any expenditure of money or effort in trying to achieve your goal, you should evaluate what would happen if your decision were a complete failure.

7. Set measures on your decision. How will you know you are making progress? How will you measure success? How will you compare the success of this solution against the success of another solution? How will you define a success? Make it measurable, and then monitor it on a regular basis.

8. Accept complete responsibility for implementing the decision. Many of the most creative ideas never materialize because no one is specifically assigned the responsibility for carrying out the decision.

9. Set a deadline. A decision without a deadline is just a meaningless discussion. If it's a major decision and will take some time to implement, set a series of short-term deadlines and a schedule for reporting.

10. Take action. Get busy. Get going. Develop a sense of urgency. The faster you move in the direction of your clearly defined goals, the more creative you will be, the more energy you will have, the more you will learn and the faster you will develop your capacity to achieve even more in the future.

The world is full of creative individuals who have wonderful ideas, but almost all of them fall down when it comes to implementation. And this is where you can excel. The future belongs to the creative minority who can not only think but also take action and put their ideas into effect.

Now, here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action. First, take your biggest problem or worry situation today, and ask yourself, what exactly is the problem? What am I worrying about?? Second, analyze your situation creatively and ask yourself, what else is the problem??Sometimes the real problem is not what you thought. Third, make a decision ?any decision. Assign responsibility or accept responsibility, and then take action on your ideas. The busier you work to solve your problems, the smarter you will become.

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