We all have been in tough situations in life. At one time it may take tremendous efforts to come to a solution whereas at another the solution may just manifest itself. Whichever our circumstances are the bottom line remains the same - we need to solve them. Since problems vary from one situation to another, the corresponding solutions thus differ. Hence to have one formula to solve all problems is almost impossible. Nonetheless, these three steps may be adopted as a simple yet effective guideline that will help us in managing ourselves and our problems during difficult times.
Hold your horses
Do not let our emotions take control of us. It is natural to be sad, angry, hurt, or frustrated when things do not go our way but do not let it consume us. Remember, negative emotions will only yield negativity when not managed properly. Take a deep breath or distant ourselves for a while from that source of stress, as sometimes disengaging from the source is the most effective way to calm ourselves down. Take note that this does not mean that we are running away from our problems, instead, we are merely taking a few steps back to calm down and relook into the whole matter.
Reflect on the problem, not the person
Everything happens for a reason. Yes, we all are familiar with that phrase. But how many of us actually asked "what caused this to happen?" instead of "who caused this to happen?" at that particular moment when the problem struck or is at its worst? Most will start to blame people and often associate causes to others. Even in a situation where a driver runs over a red light for instance - which is very much associated to the driver's own fault - has a reason behind it, such as late for work or rushing to the airport. Hence, the first thing that should always come to our mind when analyzing a problem is the "What" and not the "Who".
Work on the solutions
Once we have identified the causes, the subsequent step is to list down the possible solutions. Give additional focus on the things that will be at stake if those identified solutions are to be implemented, such as the monetary cost incurred, time spent, people affected, sustainability (will it be a short-term solution or a long-term? or are we treating the symptoms or the root cause?) and others. We may also use some problem-solving tools to help us if necessary, for eg. Kepner-Tregoe Method, Thomas Saaty's Analytical Hierarchy Matrix, SWOT analysis, etc.
Finally, implement the best solution derived, but, remember to be flexible about it, as it is possible that our best solution may not yield the best results due to some unseen circumstances. Hence if such condition occurs, simply repeat Step 1 to 3, and eventually the ultimate solution will be attained.
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Blankskript Consultants specializes in workforce competency development for corporations, government organizations, and small & medium enterprises (SMEs). For more information, please visit www.blankskriptconsultants.com. Do follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn @blankskriptconsultants