Decision-making and problem solving are essential skills we each use every day, even if we don’t realize it. For those who want to improve these skills, it can be helpful to create a process for them. This article will explain the importance of how decision making relates to problem solving, how they differ from each other, and offer tips on designing your process for these tasks.
Table of Contents
What is Problem Solving?
Problem-solving is the process of finding a solution to a problem. We all face difficulties every day, but it’s important to find a solution that implements a long-term fix. Many times we want to put a bandaid on a problem without actually fixing it forever.
The problem with this is that bandaids build-up, and we get frustrated with the lack of progress. This can be problematic for businesses and personal life choices. Finding ways to fix the actual cause of the issue will always be best in the long run.
How well you solve problems depends on how organized and clear your thinking is. Some ways to find solutions to problems are listening actively, asking validating questions, and thinking about different options. The ability to think outside the box and develop creative solutions can help you identify solutions faster than those who can not.
How you solve a problem is important because it can be the difference between success and failure. That is why it is so important to understand how decision making relates to problem solving and the differences.
What is Decision Making?
Decision-making is the process of choosing from a range of possible solutions to a problem or situation. Both decisions and problem-solving are essential for your work performance and ensuring long-term personal peace.
However, many make the mistake of assuming that problem solving, and decision-making are the same skill. They are not and need to be used in different scenarios. Decision-making skills help you choose the best long-term solution where problem-solving comes up with many potential solutions to an issue.
Tools you can use for Problem-Solving
Fishbone Diagrams – A cause and effect diagram is used to structure possible causes for an issue. As you brainstorm the various reasons why something might be happening, this tool can help you organize each reason into different categories, with branches expanding from them.
Flowchart – A flowchart takes an idea or process that flows in order and diagrams it out step-by-step. This can be helpful when trying to figure out how best to accomplish long tasks or explaining complicated processes, so others understand your train of thought better.
Tree Diagrams – Tree diagrams work like fishbone diagrams. However, instead of branching off one main topic, they branch off multiple issues while still keeping all possibilities organized together on the same page. They also operate under the assumption that not.
Tools you can use for Decision Making
Impact Effort Matrix – This tool can help you determine the best possible solution by comparing two or more alternatives. How well each option fulfills your goals is determined by inputting different criteria for each choice and how difficult it will be to implement.
Pugh Matrix – This tool offers a way to compare various ideas at once so that you can generate new possibilities and choose between them in an organized fashion. You can also use this tool when picking between multiple desirable but mutually exclusive choices, which is important, especially if time becomes limited.
Ranking Scale – A ranking scale is helpful when trying to figure out what is most valuable about something because it helps highlight why one choice may be better than another without having many people focus on just one criterion, such as price.
How Decision Making Relates to Problem Solving Conclusion
Decision-making is more about choosing the best long-term solution, while problem-solving focuses on creating many possible answers. How well you solve problems depends on how organized and clear your thinking is. Some tools can help with both skills, so it’s important to determine what type of scenario you’re in before trying to pick a choice. Hopefully, this article has helped you to see the difference in how decision making relates to problem solving and how they relate to each other.
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