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Problem Solving Skills: Is There A Problem Or Not?

Problem Solving Skills Are Not Just For Managers Or Entrepreneurs; However, They Constantly (Or Should) Take Advantage Of It In Their Daily Work And Life.

We all need problem-solving skills at different levels. Which field of study should we choose in high school and university, in which job will we show our best talents that can also meet our needs, who we choose for marriage, how many children we should have, and where we should live? Questions like these are just the tip of the iceberg, covering all areas of our daily lives.

Problem Solving…

Seligman removed the barrier between the two rooms, but as he guessed, the dogs were stuck on the floor, waiting for the electric shock to stop. He returned to his office with a smile that confirmed his theory.
Leading American psychologist Martin Seligman proved one of the theories that had occupied his mind for years.

Here it was: Seligman performed his experiment on several dogs in a test room divided by a fence. He struck an electric shock to the dogs through a metal plate on the floor in one section.

The dogs howled and knocked on doors and walls; Finally, they jumped over the fence and took refuge in another part of the room that was not in shock.

Seligman then repeated the experiment, but this time after jumping over the fence, the dogs noticed that the other part was also in shock.

When the shock repeated several times, the dogs concluded that jumping over the fence was useless and were waiting for them in both parts of the shock. So they crouched on the floor of the room and waited helplessly for the shock to end.

This experiment was repeated many times until the result are fixed in the minds of the dogs.

In the next experiment, Seligman changed the test. A few new dogs that had not been shocked before were added to the previous dogs. When the electric shock started, the previous dogs curled up in the corners and waited for the shock to end, but the new dogs became restless and eventually jumped the fence and went to the other part, which had no shock.

This experiment was repeated several times. Each time the experiment began, the new dogs immediately jumped over the fence and were rescued, but the previous dogs even crawled to their feet when they saw the new dogs. Seligman then picked up the railing and struck a shock.

The new dogs immediately went to another section and were relieved.

But the early dogs still crouched and waited for the shock to end and made no move. Seligman called the dogs’ condition “learned helplessness.”

That is a situation in which the subject concludes that he has no influence on external factors and that whatever happens must happen. He later extended his theory to humans.

Why solve the problem …

As in the network’s 212 memos, ” Will the 2020 world save you space?” I mentioned that the World Economic Forum, both in its estimates for the years 2015 to 2020 and in its estimates for the years 2020 to 2025, has listed ten skills as key skills in these courses, in both of which the skills of solving complex problems are at the top. Contract.

In other lists, problem-solving skills  It is usually one of the most important. But why?

Why do people with all kinds of specialties need this skill, from neurosurgeons to microchip design engineers, from managers of large and small companies and founders of startups to family members?

I will try to answer this question in this note and probably in the following notes.

On the other hand, since problem-solving is an important part of the thinking process, I suggest critical thinking articles in issues 214, ” Critical Thinking and Our Work ” and 216 Critical Thinking NetworkRead a soft skill that is hard to come.

Why is there a problem …

Because, according to Karl Popper, the famous philosopher of the twentieth century, life is all about solving problems1No level of life, whether at the individual and family level, at the professional and professional level, or the social and global level, is independent of problem-solving; To the extent that they say life is the solution to this problem until the next problem.

Remarkable friends who think that with a big project, the day will come when human beings will see life without any problems and issues!

Wow, wherever I start, I get to the point that life is not easy. It never was and never will be. Life is not easy, and it means that life is full of problems, and the word is always the question.

Wherever there is a question, it will most likely be a problem.

Obviously, I do not mean the sum of two plus two.

A question whose answer is not clear in advance is designed to solve a problem or raise awareness about a particular thing that has not existed before.

Various theorists and psychologists have given various answers to this question, many of which contain important facts. In my opinion, maintaining balance is one of the most important priorities for human beings. It is the imbalance that creates the problem, and this balance is always being disturbed. Whether in our bodies, economics, society, or even galaxies.

It is called problem-solving to restore balance to a system out of balance, whether to the previous state or taking it to a new equilibrium level.

Early in the morning, you wake up with your cell phone ringing; The first to upset the balance.

 You want to sleep, and your body needs sleep, but you have to wake up.

If you do not wake up, other balances in your family or work environment will be upset. You do not bring your child to school at 7:30, which upsets several other balances.

You also know that if you arrive late, it will disrupt the group’s plan with whom you will carry out the project; And you agree that the butterfly wing effect of these two issues will not cause a terrible storm in the Caribbean islands!

When you wake up, you will notice some other imbalances. The food you ate last night does not affect your stomach, and it has made a noise. You have to balance this as well.

On the way to the office, you listen to the audio file of your favorite radio station.

 Amazon is on fire.

The fire may not be a direct result of the butterflies of the beef you ate last night. Still, experts assure you that increased beef consumption, of which Brazil is a major producer, has upset the balance of the Amazon forest ecosystem. Many of the country’s forested areas, known as the earth’s lungs, have been turned into pastures or factories to raise cattle or agricultural products. This is also a global issue.

A simple definition of the problem …

Of course, not every kind of imbalance can be considered the cause of a problem. Is this a problem when you wake up in the morning feeling hungry? It can be either not. It depends on whether there is anything to eat in the refrigerator.

If so, you have no problem; But if it is not, especially if the money is not in your pocket or bank account, you are facing a problem. If this is a long-term situation and you are struggling with it every day, now you have to think about solving your own problem:

How can I make money? We know the goal is to make money to buy food or other necessities, but getting it is unclear.

Here we have a problem. Do I have to work?

Where? What job? Do I have to ask for the money I lent to a friend some time ago? Do I have to borrow from family or friends? And Do I have to rent a smaller house to sell some home appliances? How do I start a small business? …


Problem-solving skills…

In the example above, we can finally choose one of the mentioned ways or even a new way and solve our own problem. So what do we need problem-solving skills, and what are basically problem-solving skills?

Problem-solving skills can be an active approach to finding and recognizing the main issue and problem, collecting information related to it, analyzing this information based on logic and thinking, finding or creating solutions to solve the problem, and comparing the solutions together. Finally, the decision Giri said to find the most appropriate solution to solve that problem.

Of course, in this definition, some cases need to be explored separately. Such as problem recognition or the skill of using thinking to solve a problem.

It is a well-known saying that you will solve the problem as you define it.

In the example above, if the problem is that I do not have breakfast to eat, I will go for breakfast, but if the problem is that I do not have enough income to meet my needs, we will look for a job or start a business.

Therefore, finding the right solution to the problem depends on defining the problem correctly, and at the same time, choosing the most appropriate solution is important, not any solution.

Using thinking allows us to eliminate biases and emotional tendencies that subconsciously draw us to ourselves. I will talk about this again.

Why problem-solving skills …

Problem-solving skills are not just for managers or entrepreneurs; they constantly (or should) take advantage of them in their daily work and life.

We all need problem-solving skills at different levels. Which field of study should we choose in high school and university, in which job will we show our best talents that can also meet our needs, who we choose for marriage, how many children we should have, and where we should live?

Questions like these are just the tip of the iceberg, covering all areas of our daily lives.

We need problem-solving skills at more normal levels of life, such as buying or renting a house, doing a work project, attending a language or language class, a loved one’s illness, and how we deal with it. If we are not equipped with this skill, we will definitely have a worse choice with incorrect diagnosis and analysis.

No problem…

Seligman taught us that many human beings, including ourselves, conclude that our efforts will not work in certain situations.

Especially in situations where we fail a few times on a particular subject, the idea gradually builds in our minds that we can do nothing about it. In fact, we stop solving the problem. Learned helplessness is one of the major causes of depression.

It is in such circumstances that we submit to fate and appreciate and suffice only to sigh and moan and complain and complain. From a smoker who officially announces they can’t quit after a lot of effort to a programmer who feels it’s too late to learn a new language, each of us is more likely to look at our lives carefully.

We are taught helplessness in one or more areas.

In other words, we have given up trying to solve the problem.
This note is only a prelude to problem-solving. Due to the importance and breadth of the problem-solving topic, I will probably dedicate a few issues or address them as a separate article outside of the note format.


1. The title of a book by Karl Popper, the great writer and philosopher of the twentieth century, translated by Shahriar Khajian and published by Markaz.