Human Relations

SOLVING PROBLEMS SKILLFULLY:Problem solving and cognition, Ways to solve problems

<< PERSONAL MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVEMENT:Needs and Motivation, Self-discipline and motivation
CREATIVITY IN PROBLEM SOLVING:Barriers to creativity, Tips to solve problems creatively >>
Human Relations­ MGMT611
Lesson 08
Solving Problems Skillfully
Solving day-to-day problems is a major activity of all humans in today's complex social environment. The
ability to solve problems skillfully is required in many situations both at work place and in private life.
A problem is a gap between what exists and what you want to have existed. Decision making to solve a
problem means selecting one alternative from the various alternative solutions that can be pursued.
Opening the door of the principal office in your college may be a momentary problem. But it is a one.
Normally, you knock at the door and seek permission to get in.
Personal attributes and problem solving
Many personal characteristics and traits influence problem solving techniques. Some of these attributes can
be improved through conscious efforts by individuals.
1. Intelligence, Education, and Experience. In general, if you are intelligent, well educated (vocabulary
of concepts), and well experienced, you will make better decisions than people without these attributes.
How well you understand the situation and how broad you can think. How many alternative solutions come
to your mind. How experience make you decide the best alternative clearly.
2. Emotional Intelligence. Being able to deal effectively with your feelings and emotions, and those of
others, can help you make better decisions. Emotional intelligence refers to qualities such as understand
one's own feelings, empathy for others, and the regulation of emotion to enhance living. Control over
emotions is usually necessary for building relations and finding good solutions to problems.
3. Flexibility versus Rigidity. Flexible thinking enables the problem solver to think of original--and
therefore creative--alternative solutions to solving a problem. Rigidity in today's environment actually
creates problems.
4. Intuition. Effective decision makers rely on careful analysis and intuition; it is an experience-based way
of knowing or reasoning in which weighing and balance of evidence are done automatically. Intuition takes
place when the brain gathers information stored in memory and packages it as a new insight or solution.
Developing good intuition may take a long time because so much information has to be stored. Vast
experience develops intuition (insight or sixth sense or instinct).
5. Concentration. Mental concentration is an important contributor to making good decisions. Effective
problem solvers often achieve the flow experience, total absorption in one's work.
6. Decisiveness and Perfectionism. Being fearful of committing oneself to any course of action can
impede decision making. Another impediment is perfectionism. The perfectionist keeps searching for more
information before making a decision. The combination of being indecisive and a perfectionist can lead to
unnecessary delays.
7. Risk Taking. For some types of problems, the high risk taker and thrill seeker is at an advantage. Risk
taking and thrill seeking can also lead to poor problem solving and decision making, such as betting on a
huge inventory of merchandise that fails to sell.
8. Values of the Decision-Maker. Personal and social values influence decision making at every step. The
right values for the situation will improve problem solving and decision making, whereas the wrong values
will lead to poor decisions.
Human Relations­ MGMT611
Problem solving and cognition
Personality influences a person's cognitive style (intuitive skills). It influences the mental processes used
to perceive and make judgments from available information.
The four dimensions of psychological functioning are:
(1) Introverted (shy) versus extroverted,
(2) Thinking versus feeling,
(3) Sensing versus intuiting, and
(4) Judging versus perceiving.
Ways to solve problems
A highly recommended way of solving problems and making decisions is to use the following steps.
1. Awareness of the Problem. You can either be handed a problem to solve or discover one on your own.
Ample information about the problem is necessary.
2. Identify Causes of the Problem. The causes of problems should be diagnosed and clarified before any
action is taken because the causes are not always what they seem to be on the surface. Source of problem
should be identified. Right diagnosis is needed for finding right solution.
Five key elements about the possible causes of a problem are: people, materials, machines, facilities, physical
environment, and methods.
3. Find Creative Alternatives. The essence of good problem solving is to search for creative (and
therefore useful) alternatives. Go beyond the ordinary.
4. Weigh Alternatives. The pros and cons of each alternative must be weighed. Tree analysis. Example:
Education vs apprenticeship.
5. Make the Choice. At this step the person chooses an alternative. Some people suffer from analysis
paralysis, and thus delay decision making.
6. Implement the Choice. The alternative chosen must now be put into action. Implementation is often
much more difficult than carrying out the other steps in decision making.
7. Evaluate the Choice. Evaluating the effectiveness of your decision tells you if another alternative must
be sought.A helpful decision-making aid is to visualize what you would do if the alternative you chose
proved to be dreadful--the worst-case scenario.
Creative Solutions
Creativity is the ability to develop good ideas that can be put into action. Adaptive creativity involves
improving an existing system, whereas innovative creativity involves creating something new.
Characteristics of Creative Workers
Following are the characteristics of the creative workers
Intellectual Abilities
Dubrin, A.J. (2005). Human Relations for Career and Personal Success. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey,
Table of Contents:
  1. HUMAN RELATIONS:Some Guidelines for Effective Human Relations, Communication has 3meanings
  2. CULTURE AND PERSONALITY:Definition of sub culture, Definition of Personality, Types of Persons
  4. PERCEPTION AND INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR:Three concepts of personality, Bias in Perception
  5. PERCEPTION AND GROUP BEHAVIOR:Characteristics of Groups, Individual and Group Behavior
  6. ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR:Types of Attitudes, Steps to turn attitude into action
  7. PERSONAL MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVEMENT:Needs and Motivation, Self-discipline and motivation
  8. SOLVING PROBLEMS SKILLFULLY:Problem solving and cognition, Ways to solve problems
  9. CREATIVITY IN PROBLEM SOLVING:Barriers to creativity, Tips to solve problems creatively
  10. HANDLING PERSONAL ISSUES:Self-Defeating Behaviour, Positive attitude to tackle personal problems
  12. COMMUNICATION AND HUMAN RELATIONS:Process of communication, Improving gender barriers to communication
  13. ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION:To improve listening skills, Types of organizational communication
  14. UNDERSTANDING COMMUNICATION STYLES:Modeling communication style, Sociability continuum
  15. SELF-ESTEEM:Building process of self-esteem, Self-esteem and public image
  16. BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE:The importance of self-confidence and self-efficacy, Balanced Self-Confidence:
  17. BECOMING A LEADER-1:Assessing leadership role, Traits and Characteristics of Effective Leaders
  18. BECOMING A LEADER-II:Theories of leadership, Developing leadership potential
  19. GLOBALIZATION AND CROSS-CULTURAL DIFFERENCES:Religious Values and Bicultural Identities
  20. IMPROVING CROSS-CULTURAL COMPETENCE:Strategies to improve cross-cultural relations, More steps to improve Cultural Relations
  21. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH MANAGERS:Impressing your manager, Coping with a problem manager
  22. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CO-WORKERS:Make Co-workers feel important, Maintain Honest and Open Relationships
  23. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CUSTOMERS:Salesperson Represents the Business, Approaching the Customer, Excuses vs. Objections
  24. CHOOSING A CAREER-1:Ten Myths about Choosing a Career, Attitude toward and Perceptions about Myself
  25. CHOOSING A CAREER-II:Choosing a career and developing a portfolio Career, Suggestions for career Preparation
  26. FINDING A JOB:Targeting your job search, The Internet and Résumé Database Services, Extreme Job Hunting
  27. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESUME:Major types of resumes, Electronic Submission of the Résumé
  28. IMPROVING INTERVIEW SKILLS:Successful interview, Knowing the employer or Organization
  29. IMPROVING WORK HABITS-1:Reasons of procrastination, Techniques for Reducing Procrastination
  30. IMPROVING WORK HABITS-2:Developing the proper attitudes and values, Time-management techniques
  32. TAKING CONTROL OF YOURSELF:Develop Outstanding Interpersonal Skills, Business etiquettes
  33. EXERTING CONTROL ON OUTSIDE ENVIRONMENT:Important communication tip, Exerting control over the outside world
  34. MANAGING PERSONAL FINANCES-1:Your personal financial plan, Steps in budget making
  35. MANAGING PERSONAL FINANCES-2:Basic investment principles, Tolerance for Investment Risks, Types of investments
  36. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-1:Finding happiness and enhancing your personal life, The key to happiness
  37. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-2:The Five Principles of Psychological Functioning, Your mind and Happiness
  38. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-3:Need for intimacy, Working out issues with relationships
  39. APATHY AND ITS REMEDIES:Let us try to understand the various definitions of apathy, Coping strategies for apathy
  40. ENHANCING PERSONAL ETHICS-1:Influence of Culture, Common ethical problems
  41. ENHANCING PERSONAL ETHICS-2:Common ethical problems, Guidelines for Behaving Ethically
  42. HELPING OTHERS GROW:Being a Nurturing, Positive Person, A list of mentoring behaviour, Coaching skills and techniques
  43. REVIEW-I:What is a Human Relation?, Meanings of Communication, Two types of stress, Some personal problem, Communication style
  44. REVIEW-II:Steps to build self-confidence, Globalization, Building Good Relations with Co-workers, Good work habits
  45. REVIEW-III:New model of career advancement, Choosing your investment, Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People