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At this stage, it's also important to ensure that you look at the issue from a variety of perspectives.If you commit yourself too early, you can end up with a problem statement that's really a solution instead.Many of the tools in this section help you do just that.
Appreciative Inquiry is designed to help you understand complex problems so that you can start the process of solving them.
It uses four stages to help you uncover more details about what's creating the problem, and then define actions that will improve the situation.
Whether you're solving a problem for a client (internal or external), supporting those who are solving problems, or discovering new problems to solve, the problems you face can be large or small, simple or complex, and easy or difficult.
A fundamental part of every manager's role is finding ways to solve them.
So, being a confident problem solver is really important to your success.
Much of that confidence comes from having a good process to use when approaching a problem.However, if you look a bit deeper, the real issue might be a lack of training, or an unreasonable workload.help you ask the right questions, and work through the layers of a problem to uncover what's really going on.There are four basic steps in solving a problem: Steps 2 to 4 of this process are covered in depth in other areas of Mind Tools.For these, see our sections on Creativity for step 2 (generating alternatives); Decision Making for step 3 (evaluating and selecting alternatives); and Project Management for step 4 (implementing solutions).When your problem is simple, the solution is usually obvious, and you don't need to follow the four steps we outlined earlier.So it follows that when you're taking this more formal approach, your problem is likely to be complex and difficult to understand, because there's a web of interrelated issues.Using established tools and techniques will help you improve your approach to solving the problems that your team and your organization face.You'll be more successful at solving problems and, because of this, more successful at what you do.The articles in this section of Mind Tools therefore focus on helping you make a success of the first of these steps – defining the problem.A very significant part of this involves making sense of the complex situation in which the problem occurs, so that you can pinpoint exactly what the problem is.