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8 Steps to solving your problems

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1. Get a team of supporters together.
Of course, this will include the one needing the problem solved, but it may also include spouse, friend, family members and anyone else that you consider would be helpful in solving the problem.

2. Pray.
I always like to pray and ask God to be part of the process and to be filling the group with creative ideas.

3. Identify the Problem.
This is probably the trickiest part of the process. We often have so many different problems that its hard to choose which one to tackle first. It might be helpful to list them all out and rate them each on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being a problem causing the most stress. You can always come back to the other problems later.
As you go through the process, you may well have to redefine what the problem is as more information comes to light.

4. Generate Possible Solutions.
List all the possible solutions, don’t worry about the quality of the solutions at this stage. Don’t discount anything.
Try to list ten solutions, be creative. If creativity and fun are encouraged then often new solutions may appear that no one would have thought of. The brain needs permission to explore. So include all ideas even ‘bad’ or ‘silly’ suggestions. Get everyone to suggest something.

DO NOT talk about whether ideas are good or bad at this stage. We don’t want to shut down peoples creativity.

5. Evaluate alternatives.
Get the group to say what they think are the main advantages and disadvantages of each suggestion. Start by considering the positive aspects of each solution and then the negative. Do not write these comments down. It is just a general discussion.

6. Decide on a Solution.
Choose the solution that can be carried out most easily with the resources (time, skills, materials, money, etc.) that you have at present. This could be a solution from the list developed or a combination of some of the ideas suggested.

7. Plan exactly how to carry out the solution.
Write down the solution as clearly as possible. List out what needs to be done and by when. Organise how to get anything that is needed to solve the problem.
Consider how to cope with likely hitches. Practice any difficult steps. Set a Date and time to review how progress is going with plan

8. Review progress in carrying out the plan.
Praise all the efforts people have made. Do a quick review making sure you praise any effort made to solve the problem. You’ve got to accentuate the positive.
This is not a time to play blame and shame game. This is a time to review and possibly problem solve any issues that have arisen. The existing plan may need to be revised, or a new plan made.