5 Ways to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills 

 March 8, 2023

Written by Yemisi Iyilade, Project Management Consultant, Scientist & Innovation Expert.

Do you ever feel stuck in a rut when it comes to problem solving skills? Whether big or small, we all run into issues that require us to think outside the box. Yet, sometimes we are so overwhelmed by what’s in front of us that we can’t find a good solution.

Improving your problem-solving skills can make the process easier and more efficient. Luckily, there are strategies and tools available to help improve your problem-solving skills – and today Here is an overview of some tips and techniques that will help you become better at solving any problem.

What Are Problem-Solving Skills?

Problem-solving skills refer to the ability to identify a problem, analyze it, and then develop an effective solution. Problem-solving requires you to think proactively and critically and evaluate different courses of action before deciding on the best one.

Problem-solving skills also need the ability to evaluate and assess other solutions to determine the most effective. Problem-solving skills are key skills for any job, no matter the industry.

Why Are Problem-Solving Skills Important?

Problem-solving skills are essential in any job or situation because they enable you to make better decisions and develop creative solutions. Problem-solving skills can help you think more clearly and logically when faced with a problem, ultimately leading to better results.

Good problem-solving skills also help you to become more self-reliant and efficient. Additionally, problem-solving skills are essential for teamwork. Problem-solving requires communication, collaboration, and compromise — all essential for successful teamwork.

Ways to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills:

These are a few strategies to help you improve your problem-solving skills:

1. Develop Your Problem-Solving Mindset:

A growth mindset is the key to success in problem-solving. A growth mindset means you view challenges as an opportunity for learning and development rather than something to be feared or avoided. With this type of mindset, you will be more likely to accept challenges and positively work through them.

Skills required in this strategy:

  • Reframe challenges and problems as learning opportunities
  • Develop resiliency in the face of difficult situations
  • Take ownership of tasks, even when it’s difficult
  • Develop a positive attitude and maintain motivation

2. Learn Problem-Solving Techniques:

Many problem-solving techniques can help you work through problem organization systematically. These techniques include the Five Whys, Problem Tree Analysis, SWOT Analysis, and Brainstorming. The more familiar you become with these problem-solving techniques, the easier it will be for you to identify the root of the problem and develop the best solution.

Skills required in this strategy:

  • Analyze the problem from multiple perspectives
  • Break down problems into smaller, manageable parts
  • Identify the cause of the problem and possible solutions
  • Use creative thinking to develop new ideas and solutions

3. Practice Solving problems:

The best way to improve your problem-solving skills is to practice. Start by tackling more minor problems and gradually work up to more complex ones. As you practice, keep track of the strategies and techniques most helpful for a particular situation. This can help you refine the process and become more efficient at problem-solving.

Skills required in this strategy:

  • Problem identification and analysis
  • Creative thinking and brainstorming
  • Decision-making and goal setting
  • Time management and organization.

4. Seek Opportunities to Problem Solve:

Whenever possible, look for opportunities to test out your problem-solving skills. These could be in the form of work projects, volunteer opportunities, or even hobbies. You can gain confidence and experience in problem-solving by challenging yourself in these ways.

Skills required in this strategy:

  • Look for areas of improvement and potential solutions
  • Set measurable goals and develop action plans to reach them
  • Problem-solve collaboratively with others
  • Use data to inform decision-making.

5. Stay Current with Problem-Solving Trends:

Problem-solving is constantly evolving as technology and society advance. To stay updated with the latest problem-solving trends and techniques, it is essential to stay informed by reading industry publications, attending conferences, and networking with other professionals. This can help you stay ahead of the curve and sharpen your problem-solving skills.

Skills required in this strategy:

  • Research current trends and industry best practices
  • Participate in professional development opportunities
  • Network with peers and build relationships.
  • Using these strategies to improve your problem-solving skills can make you an invaluable asset to any team’s success.

5 Problem-Solving Skills Every Leader Should Work On

Being a leader is not easy. In addition to having a clear vision and being able to inspire and motivate others, leaders also need to be able to solve problems effectively.

After all, no matter how well you plan, there will always be bumps in the road. The ability to quickly and efficiently solve problems can mean the difference between success and failure.

So, what problem-solving skills should every leader work on? Here are five that we think are crucial:

1. Critical Thinking

The ability to think critically is essential for any leader. When faced with a problem, you need to be able to look at it from all angles and consider all potential solutions before making a decision. This can be difficult, especially when you’re under pressure, but it’s important to take the time to think things through carefully before taking action.

2. Creativity

In many cases, the best solution to a problem is not obvious. That’s where creativity comes in. Leaders who are able to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions are often the most successful in solving problems. If you find yourself stuck, try brainstorming with a team or taking a break from the problem to clear your head and come back with fresh eyes.

3. Communication

Communication is key in any leadership role. When dealing with a problem, you need to be able to clearly communicate the situation to your team and explain your proposed solution. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and prevent misunderstandings down the line.

4. Delegation

One of the most important skills for any leader is knowing when and how to delegate. Trying to do everything yourself is not only impossible, it’s also counterproductive. Leaders who are able to delegate tasks effectively are usually more successful in solving problems because they’re able to utilize the strengths of their team members.

5) Time management

Time management is another important skill for leaders. When you’re dealing with a problem, it’s important to be able to prioritize and focus on what’s most important so that you can find a solution as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. This can be difficult, but there are many time management tools and techniques that can help.

Benefits of problem-solving skills

These are the benefits of problem-solving skills

  • Work collaboratively with others
  • Improve interpersonal communication skills.
  • Develop better strategies for planning and organization
  • Increase resilience in the face of challenges.
  • Develop better critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Increase productivity in both personal and professional spheres.
  • Help to become more self-reliant and efficient
  • Has the ability to make better decisions
  • and come up with creative solutions in the problem-solving process
  • Achieve desired outcomes faster than before.

Final Thoughts:

Problem-solving skills are essential for any leader who wants to be successful. The ability to think critically, communicate effectively, delegate appropriately, and manage your time well can mean the difference between success and failure when faced with a problem.

While some people may have natural abilities in these areas, anyone can improve their problem-solving skills with practice. These skills can help you identify, analyze, and solve problems logically and efficiently.

Developing these skills requires practice and dedication, but the rewards are worthwhile. Ultimately, problem-solving skills can help you develop better communication, collaboration, and decision-making skills, and become more self-reliant, productive, and successful.


Q: why do we need problem-solving skills?

A: Strong problem-solving skills are essential for both personal and professional success. These skills can help you identify, analyze, and solve complex problems logically and efficiently. Problem-solving skills can help you become more self-reliant, productive, and successful.

Q: How to highlight problem-solving skills in a job interview?

A: Problem-solving skills can be highlighted in a job interview by discussing specific problem-solving skills and examples of how you have used these skills to solve problems. Provide the interviewer with an example of a problem you solved or soft skills associated with problem-solving and how you approached the situation by showing it in your cover letter.

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Yemisi Iyilade

Yemisi Iyilade is a Project Management Professional, PMP and Maxwell Leadership Coach and Trainer. She has worked in the environmental, nonprofit, and technology industries, developing new products and services, providing leadership, and facilitating meaningful engagement with stakeholders. Yemisi is driven by a mission to empower young people, women, and immigrant professionals through content delivery, coaching and training. She believes that if given the right tools and tactics, any motivated person can gain the awareness and grit needed to create better opportunities.


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