Problem Solving: A Professional Perspective
Throughout our professional lives, there are certain things that are guaranteed. One of these things is that you will have problems at one time or another. With the occurrence of problems comes the need for the skill of problem solving. I will discuss what problem solving is, the different approaches to it and how I personally will use it in my professional life.
First, let’s define problem-solving. According to Cherry (2014), “Problem-solving is a mental process that involves discovering, analyzing and solving problems.” So now we know that problem solving involves discovery, analysis and solutions. These mental processes are things that we do on a regular basis.
Problem-solving has different approaches. They vary according to the situation and individuals. However, there are some accepted general guidelines. McNamara (2014) states that the guidelines are “Define the problem, look at potential causes, identify alternatives for approaches to resolve the problem, select an approach, plan the implementation, monitor the implementation, and verify if the problem has been resolved or not.” One approach that sticks to these guidelines is the rational approach. It uses a logical process. Another approach to problem solving is the organic approach. There is not a clear train of thought but is “highly adaptable and explaining the chaotic changes that occur in projects and everyday life” (McNamara, 2014).
In my professional life, I have used a rational approach the problem-solving in most situations. This is due in large part to the technical nature of my jobs. As a technician, I had to have a clear and logical process to follow in order to troubleshoot and determine the cause of problems with equipment. Most technical manuals have logical flow-charts and diagrams, which makes the rational approach the most appropriate. When I changed careers from a...