Steps to Problem Solving # 7002
|The five steps in problem-solving are listed below and each step is discussed in the following sections.
1. Identify the problem.
2. Think of plans to solve the problem.
3. Pick the best plan.
4. Try the plan.
5. Evaluate if the plan worked.
SAMPLE PROBLEM TO PRACTICE ON
|Janet got her drivers license two months ago. She would like to use the family car at night, but her parents dont think she is ready to drive after dark just yet. Janet and her parents argue about this and seem to get nowhere.
The steps listed below will guide you through the problem-solving process. Follow the guidelines listed under each step. Then use the Problem-Solving Worksheet (Tool # 7003 to work on a problem of your own).
STEP 1: IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM
Mother, father, and adolescent should take turns defining the problem as each sees it.
Dont define the problem in an emotional way by blaming, exaggerating, or demeaning others.
Limit your problem definition to just one issue.
STEP 2: THINK OF PLANS TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM
Brainstorm ideas to come up with possible plans to solve the problem.
Take turns and think up as many plans as possibleanything goes here.
Dont evaluate any of the plans until everyone has had a chance to share their ideas.
STEP 3: PICK THE BEST PLAN
Each person explains how the proposed plan would affect them personally and rates each plan with a plus or minus. Choose the plan with the most consensus.
Be practical and think about how the plan would actually work if you tried it.
Consider how each plan would affect other peoples feelings.
Pick the plan that is most agreeable with everyone.
STEP 4: TRY THE PLAN
Discuss how to put the plan into action and write an action-plan.
Define the behaviors to be targeted.
Determine consequences (rewards/punishments) and how they will be administered.
Make sure you have a way of keeping track of what is occurring.
STEP 5: EVALUATE IF THE PLAN WORKED
Within a week or so, meet again to discuss how the plan worked.
Evaluate if the plan was effective.
Consider if everyone is satisfied with how the plan is working.
If the plan is working well, continue to use it. If the plan is not working well, make a new one.
|Adapted from Put Yourself in Their Shoes by Parker. Specialty Press, Inc. All rights reserved. This form may be copied for use in your practice.|