We all have problems in life. Things we can’t fix, people who don’t understand us, and situations that confound us. All we need is a solution. All we need is that golden key that unlocks the problem and provides the perfect answer.
Yet that key is often hard to find.
We can spend hours, days, and even years trying to solve a problem, when the answer is truly at our fingertips. Yet we don’t see it.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as a checkmark in a box, or a simple decision requiring just a yes or a no. But the problem persists because we fail to take action or make a decision.
While I certainly do not have a magic solution, I have found three things that help in many cases to find that elusive key.
Problem Solving Techniques
1. Type the problem in the form of a question into Google or Ask.com
It is truly amazing the answers that come up. Ask.com is especially good with the question format. Google has a very helpful page on all the ways you can search on their site. One of their tips that comes back with interesting results is to use a fill in the blank question with an asterisk. Example: Isaac Newton discovered *
Give it a try. You may be surprised with the results.
2. Join a group on LinkedIn or other social media and post your question.
When you can align yourself with like minded people online, it is real easy to ask questions and get helpful responses. One of the best is LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s Groups Directory allows you to find communities of professionals who share a common experience, passion, interest, affiliation or goal. I have had great success asking questions in different groups and finding unique solutions.
3. Ask someone who has been there and done that.
Whether it be at work or online, find people who have experience in your field of endeavor, or experience solving a similar problem. Then ask them what they would do, or if they have had similar problems. The online world has really opened this up and a great place to find experts is Twitter. Twitter gives you a chance to ask short questions and get feedback immediately. A book like Twitter Tips, Tricks and Tweets can help you use this great resource. You can also use Klout to find like minded people in your field that may be able to help.
When you are facing a problem or situation that requires an answer, consider giving these ideas a try. You may be surprised to find that elusive key right at your fingertips!
Question: What problem solving techniques work for you?