Problem Solving and Decision-Making Skills
Problem Solving Assessment
Effective and efficient problem-solving skills are crucial in both our personal lives and our workplaces – we are therefore well-served to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the topic and learn some of the more useful tools and approaches that can help us to become better problem-solvers.
Dealing with problems and making decisions is one of life’s constant realities. Our workplace responsibilities demand that we be prepared to acknowledge, confront and deal with problems that arise –as they inevitably do many times a day. With increased responsibility comes increased expectation that we will be able to make decisions which often carry quite far-reaching consequences. Some people are naturally more comfortable making decisions – they might even describe themselves as “decisive”. But our ability to make decisions is ultimately only of value if we also have the ability to approach problems in a structured way and then resolve them effectively. It’s no use being decisive if you’re making ill-informed or plain wrong judgments or avoiding the problem in front of you.
All problems, whether large or small, complex or simple, need a systematic process to help solve them. The more we can apply this process successfully the more we can find better solutions and improve our long-term decision-making ability.
The “Problem-solving assessment” (see link below) provides a highly structured process through which to look at the whole topic of problem solving. The subject is therefore broken down into individual competency categories as follows:
- Critical Thinking
- Data Gathering and Processing
- Tool Selection Methods
- Alternative Weighing Ability
- Lateral Conceptualization
- Perception and Judgment
- Risk Assessment Skills
This online and paper-based problem-solving assessment gives individuals the opportunity to not only carry out a self-assessment (which provides scores and interpretive information in all seven of the above categories) but also allows participants to undertake the problem-solving assessment as 180-degree feedback (including his or her boss) and even 360-degree feedback (adding in up to ten colleagues as well). Individuals end up with a personalized report of results which also then shows where efforts to improve or make small adjustments in approach may be focused in the future. The $20 spent on this assessment is therefore well-worth the investment.