The process of problem solving

The process of solving problems is similar to Empathy Design Thinking which you can explore in the compassion competency. There are quite a few different models that are to use to explore solving problems, the majority of the model consists of:

  1. Identify: Understand and acknowledge there is an issue. Ask yourself how it happened.
  2. Define: Determine what are the issue(s).
  3. Explore: Ask yourself how do you solve it, what are some potential solutions
  4. Action: Enact those solutions
  5. Reflection: Evaluate if the solution(s) fixed the issue

A part of problem solving you want to pay attention to is heuristics, which are also known as biases. When making decisions, is it important to acknowledge often we will lean on past experiences to assist in deciding how to move forward. This is normal and it can be helpful to explore different ways of solving an issue. You can do this by asking a friend or trusted person in your life for advice or reading about the issue. For this exercise, explore the case studies below and decide what you would do.

Practice case studies

A framework for problem solving

Because no situation is identical to another, it means that both the process you use to problem solve and the outcome you decide you will be unique. This can feel complex and overwhelming in the moment, especially if you're having problems organizing the facts, thoughts and feelings that arise. The Cynefin Framework offers a way to think about categorizing issues into five domains that contains different suggestions and action steps for efficient and effective problem solving. 

Cynefin framework quick guide

The egg drop challenge

The egg drop activity is a fun way to connect and collaborate with your peers to figure out how to save the egg and keep it from breaking. Grab a few friends, random supplies around the house, and have some fun! The key is to listen to everyone's thoughts and build it as a collective to keep Eggy safe!

Egg drop activity

Navi Radjou: Creative problem-solving in the face of extreme limits

Watch this video and then ask yourself: How are you being sustainable in creating solutions to a problem?

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VIDEO: Heuristics and bias in decision making

Learn about how heuristics impacts our ability to make decisions and problem solve. 

TED TALK: Multiverse riddle

Can you solve the multiverse rescue riddle? Watch a short clip and think about how you would solve it and bring everyone home.

Listen to riddle

ARTICLE: Evolution theory in applied problem-solving

Learn about how Darwin's evolutionary theory can be used as a tool for problem-solving.

Read article