The Problem Solving Cycle below has been proven in my life for over 40 years. It can be used in a moment when you are mistreated by someone and have to decide how to respond. It is also effective for problems that require data collection and analysis before proceeding. No problem is to small or to large for this process.
1. Use the Sound Mind Principle promised by God. (a)
2. Claim the Word of God, the Holy Spirit and mind of Christ for guidance. (b)
3. Replace anger and fear with faith by thanking God no matter the circumstances:
When a problem causes anger and fear and we lash out at the perceived problem a “New Problem” is created. We must then fix the 2nd problem before addressing the 1st problem. The answer so we can stay focused on the real problem is to be thankful and receive the peace of God. (c)
4. Recognize the difference between fact and problem: A fact cannot be changed except by miraculous intervention by God. He will give you the grace to accept it or supernaturally change it. (d) Whereas, God can give you His wisdom, courage and knowledge to solve problems.
5. Define the problem: This is sometimes the most difficult step because symptoms obscure the real problem. Be sure you have the problem defined before leaving this step. Involve all the people in this process who must be involved in implementing the solution.
6. Develop alternative solutions to the problem: Don’t be frozen by fear and lack of data.
7. Select the best solution: Don’t put off this step waiting to get one more piece of data. In today’s fast paced world unless your problem involves spending vast amounts of money or an event that cannot be easily revised in progress, it usually best to make a decision with the information available.
8. Go to work on that solution: This is the second hardest part of solving problems. It requires discipline, perseverance, resilience and intense focus. Never, never give up. (e)
9. Go back to Step 1 and repeat the cycle at regular intervals or when something is off track—
Review progress; Revise action steps if appropriate; and Refocus energy.
(a)- 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
(b)- Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. 1 Corinthians 2: 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
(c)- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7 4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(d)- 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
(e)- When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith-Red Sea Rule 6
Henry Luke April 8, 2015 Last revised October 17, 2015
In “Tags” below click on “Life Vision” for other posts in this series.
In 1972 I used the book “The Rational Manager” by By Charles H. Kepner and Benjamin B. Tregoe to provide background and ideas for steps 4-9 above. “The Rational Manager” provides a Systematic Approach to Problem Solving and Decision Making. I believe it is out of print, but available from used book stores like abebooks.com. “Click” below for their detailed cycle diagram “Implement Plan-New ways of Operating”.
Kepner Tregoe Problem Solving