Sauk Valley Community College

an institution of higher education that provides quality learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of its students and community

Problem Solving

Problem Solving

  1. Address the problem(s).
    Be specific - don't bring up other conflicts or past hostilities. Confront the issue, not the person. Describe your feelings and your views objectively while defining the problem and analyzing how it developed.
  2. Generate possible solutions:
    Sit down together and try to list as many possible solutions as you can. Don't be afraid to include some silly ones; they'll break the tension. The more ideas you come up with, the more you will have to choose from and a better pool from which to make a choice.
  3. Evaluate the possible solutions:
    Try to find one that meets each person's needs, goals and views, given the time and resources available.
  4. Decide on a solution:
    It will involve some compromise for all parties. But, realize that compromise doesn't mean you lose.
  5. Put the solution into action:
    Make a plan for using your solution and follow-up to see how it is working. Establish short-range goals to help check your progress.

From About Improving Your Interpersonal Skills, a Scriptographic Booklet, Channing L. Bete Co., Inc., South Deerfield, MA 01373, 1984.