Life is full of problems. Problems are a part of everyday life. It’s been said that the only people without problems are in the cemetery. Everything can be seen as a problem: What clothes to wear, what to eat, what work deserves top priority, etc.

With so many problems in our lives, it’s important to know how to deal effectively with problems. Problem Solving is an important Emotional Intelligence skill necessary for success, especially for business leaders. As any entrepreneur or business leader knows, a myriad of problems are faced every day.

The fact that problems are a daily experience, it’s important that we have the right attitude when dealing with problems. We could dread and avoid problems, or we can embrace and welcome the challenges that problems present us. My motto is, “Life, give me more!” I’m ready and eager to face any and all challenges because I know I will be a better person for having survived the experience.

I have developed an easy seven step process for problem solving that goes by the acronym D.I.C.T.A.T.E.:

D – Define the problem

I – Ideas, brainstorm ideas

C – Chose one of the ideas as a solution

T – Try the solution

A – Analyze, did the solution work?

T – Try another idea if the first solution didn’t work

E – Enjoy the process

Defining the problem might sound simple enough, but it is a critical step. Really study the problem and ask questions such as, “Why is it a problem?” Keep asking “why?” until you whittle down to the root of the problem.

Along with defining the problem is defining who owns the problem. For example, you may be irritated by someone tapping their fingers on a desk. Whose problem is this? It’s not a problem for the person who’s doing the tapping; you are the one getting irritated.

The traditional view of brainstorming is that ideas shouldn’t be criticized as to allow the free flow of ideas. But new studies in brainstorming have found that it’s important to debate ideas. Debating and criticizing ideas will help generate even more ideas.

Next choose an idea that might be a viable solution and try it out. Take this action step can take come courage and you might have to overcome some fears (see Overcoming Your Fears Is Easy As ABC (DE)).

After implementing the solution, you need to analyze if it’s working. If the solution isn’t working satisfactory then chose another solution from your brainstorming ideas.

Most important of all is the last step: Enjoy the problem solving process. Life is full of problems so you might as well enjoy the challenges that life throws your way.

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