In today’s world all of us are captured in problems, but in the inside of it. Do we really know what our real problems are? Let me tell you, we don’t! Consequently we waste precious resources like time, money, energy in an attempt to solve problems which are false.

To solve your toughest problems, change the problems you solve. (Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg)

We are bad at identifying problems and lack a skill known as problem re framing.

How to identify when to re frame your problem?

The best signal to problem re framing is when the problem becomes chronic. This can be identified by repeated mistakes, frequent arguments & fights, undissolved issues. In situation like there we stick on the same solution without any sustainable change. When facing new problems, always have in mind that risks will be high, the more effort you’ll have to put into identifying the correct issue before putting your energies in finding a solution.

Following are the 3 strategies to become a better problem re frame

1 FIND BOUNDARY SPANNER: Most of the time we are unaware of how rigid our thinking is. Gathering other people’s perspectives is the best way to find the blind spots in problems. It’s beneficial to talk with people who have enough knowledge regarding your issue in order to understand and bring diverse backgrounds & perspectives.

2 LEARN FROM BRIGHT SPOTS: Positive exception finding is another tool for problem re framing, it means to observe and learn from the positivity and applying that knowledge for re framing the problem, which will lead to the accessible solution.

3 EXPAND THE FRAME: Great problem re frames expand their frame of problem along with finding boundary spanners and learning from bright spots. Asking yes or no questions reduces the chance to look for solutions that might match your needs better. Changing the types of question, you ask is a good way to expand your frame. Ask more open-ended questions rather than closed.

Replacing words like ‘should’ ‘can’ ‘do’ ‘istowhat’ ‘who’ ‘how’.

Always keep in mind that problem re framing & problem solving are the skills that can be learned. If you don’t know where to start from, working on tiny and everyday problems can be a good start. Developing your abilities to handle big problems by start practicing on small ones will be of good help. Every problem that life gives us come with a free & hidden lesson as well as an opportunity for strengthening our problem-solving muscles.

Written by Manhal Khan (Clinical Psychologist)
Thoughts: Dr. Sadaqat Ali

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