What are problem solving skills: Definition, Techniques and Steps

What are problem solving skills Definition, Techniques and Steps

Problems can exist in almost every aspect of human life, from personal relation to workplace relation, so the problem solving skills are essential for solving these problems. 

Problem solving skills are considered valuable skills as they make you capable to handle the problems and find the appropriate solution to fix the real issues.

Everyday many relations are broken due to the lack of problem solving skills, numerous people are rejected in the interview just because they are incapable to display their problem solving skills

Problem solving skills impart a tremendous positive impression in your professional work experience, it can open doors of opportunity before you, as the employers of organizations seek for the workforce strong in problem solving skills

As I have been a part of small organizations to big organizations, faced small and big both types of problems and contributed my problem solving skills, I think I am capable of proving a clear understanding of what are problem solving skills, the techniques and steps of solving problems in spite of the small and big problems. 

What is problem solving skills?

Problem solving skills are abilities to handle the simple or critical challenges using the skills like active listening, analyzing, research, creativity, effective communication, team-building and managing, risk Management, emotional Intelligence, decision making etc. along with a step by step strategy of analyzing the problem, identifying the actual problem, creating a list of possible solution, evaluation of the best solution, taking right decision, implementing the plan of solution and monitoring the outcome or result. 

How to solve a problem?

Following the seven steps below you can solve a problem in the most effective manner:

  1. Analyze the problem with in-depth manner
  2. Identify the real problem
  3. Make a list of possible solutions
  4. Evaluate the best solutions for the problem
  5. Make a right decision of the evaluation
  6. Implement the plan of solution
  7. Monitor the result 


  1. What is a problem?
  2. Problem solving skills definition
  3. Why are problem solving skills important?
  4. What is problem solving skills in workplace
  5. Problem solving skills techniques
  6. Problem solving skills steps
  7. Key Takeaways on problem solving skills

1. What is a problem?

Problem is a situation or matter which is considered unwanted and has capabilities to harm, which needs to be solved in order to overcome the negative effect.

2. Problem solving skills definition

Problem solving skills are the application of skills like active listening, examining attentively, researching, imparting creativity, strong and effective communication, decision making, team-building and risk managing in order to determine the origin of actual problem and presenting the resolution by eliminating the unwanted issues which is harmful. It is an integral part of interpersonal skill.

3. Why are problem solving skills important?

Some of the reasons why problem solving skills are important is given below:

  • Problems  can occur everywhere,  it can be in domestic relationships, office relationships or in a professional workplace. 
  • Employers always seek for the  employees who can solve the workplace issues easily and effectively.
  •  The role of supervisor or or management demands a strong ability of problem solving, as a supervisor or manager needs to deal with several issues and many people. 
  • Problem solving skills helps you to maintain a wonderful relationship beginning from your home to your workplace. 
  • By possessing problem  solving skill, you reduce the negative effect on revenue in the business  area.
  • Problem solving skills make you a better thinker and decision maker.

4. What is problem solving skills in workplace

Different workplaces have different types of work process, in the same manner they also face several types of problems. Now as an employee, it is your responsibility to understand the problem and to find out the  proper resolution for it.

People react in different ways when challenged by problems. Some people get too much of nervousness, stressed and disturbed when facing challenges or problems, while others may remain calm, relaxed and smiling. 

The best way to deal with the problem is remaining relaxed and calm.  because our mind works a much better way when it is in relax mode. In every workplace there can be unpredicted challenges or problems which can bring disturbance in your performance or work but remember while you are facing this problem do not be disturbed rather make your goal to find the actual root cause of the problem. 

Almost every workplaces has two main pillars:

  1. Goals, for growing the business
  2. Barriers, which are problems

Goal: Every workplace as a goal to achieve, in order to bring growth to the business. Every individual in the workplace works in a different manner with different areas with a single goal to achieve ultimate growth into the business.

Barrier:  anything that comes in the way and hinders to the goal, are called barrier or the problems.  These barriers must be recognized well and dealt with properly in order to reach the goal of success. 

But most of the time any of these two can take place:

  1.  Some time these  barriers is not recognized
  2.  Another is some time these barriers are not dealt properly

5. Problem solving skills techniques

You need to develop all these techniques to improve your problem solving skills:

  • Gather information about the problem
  • Understand the actual problem
  • Analyze Factors causing problem
  • Using Creativity
  • Going through thorough Research
  • Working as a Team
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Risk Management
  • Decision Making

6. Problem solving skills steps

As all the problems are not the same, therefore it is not possible to solve every problem by following the same method. 

But here below is a step-by-step process which will help you to solve the problem: 

  • Step 1: Identify the difference between symptom and actual problem
  • Step 2: Find out the actual root problem or source of the problem
  • Step 3: Analyze the source of problem to find the insights
  • Step 4: Do not always follow same pattern but creative and innovative
  • Step 5: Take time for research and to collect information from different resources
  • Step 6: Make list of possible solution plans
  • Step 7: Think about the risk factors and go for the best solution option accordingly
  • Step 8: Monitor and measure the result
  • Step 9: If the expectation is not met than try other solution plan

Key Takeaways from problem solving skills

Problem solving skill is one of the must have skills in order to be a successful person, either at home or the professional world.

By applying a strategic method the problems or challenges can be dealt with properly.

  • Problems faced everywhere it can be at home or even in the workplace.
  • Avoiding the problem is not the solution, rather  solving the problem is the actual solution.
  • Do not be confused with the symptoms of the problem, because most of the time people think the symptoms are the actual problem.
  • Go deep down and find out the actual cause of the problem.
  • Once you understand the actual problem, now is the time to eradicate the root of the problem.
  • Do not follow the pattern of problem solving methods everywhere, because problems can be different and they need different solution processes.
  • Use your Creative Thinking and take suggestions from others.
  • Take time to go through a research process in order to gather appropriate information.
  • Once you get that sufficient information, create some solution plans.
  • Keeping in mind the risk factor enforce the best plan
  • Keep monitoring and Analyzing the result
  • If you are not satisfied with the result, then move for the another solution plan

Let me know your suggestion in the comment section below for adding more life to this article and helping others to grow.

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