The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Enhancing problem-solving skills: A professional approach in a good governance

By: Firooz Ahmad Ebrahimi

Part II

In Afghan society, rather than focusing on problem-solving and finding solutions, people tend to dwell on the reasons behind their problems. They often believe that other societies don’t have any problems at all, or if they do, a magical solution will instantly resolve them. People in underdeveloped societies may indeed face more challenges. However, the key to overcoming these challenges lies in our ability to think critically and conduct thorough research. This mindset of avoiding problems, remaining stuck in them, or seeking spiritual encouragement is a result of years of neglecting these crucial skills. By acknowledging this, we can address the lack of teaching these skills in our educational system and empower ourselves to find solutions. First stage of problem-solving skill: Problem identification (Challenge) In the initial step of problemsolving, you must focus on critically identifying the crisis that lies ahead. Essentially, identifying the problem in this stage involves pinpointing the factors and origins of the crisis that have led to reduced outcomes and complications for you. For instance, if you’ve been facing a crisis of increasing imports and decreasing exports in your country for years, you should first meticulously examine the factors contributing to this challenge. Questions such as why this problem has arisen, whether it can be resolved, which factor is responsible for this problem, etc., can be highly effective in identifying the problem. If you cannot correctly identify your problem and its factors, you will probably not be able to solve it and will encounter difficulties in proceeding to the next steps. Regarding the challenge of increasing imports and decreasing exports, you should consider whether the increase in imports and decrease in exports are the result of a temporary and immediate problem or if this trend is a long-term and ongoing process. Is the origin of this occurrence political, economic, or securityrelated? If you can accurately identify the source of your problem, you can adequately observe why such a challenge is facing you and then take steps to solve it. Second Stage of Problem-Solving Skill: Problem Analysis: The second step in solving a problem is to analyze it accurately. The purpose of problem analysis is to assess how serious the problem is. Crises are usually classified into three categories based on their severity: v Minor Challenges: These are issues that have recently arisen. In other words, challenges in this category are those that, if not addressed promptly, will not significantly disrupt your progress. However, the crucial point about these issues is that if resolved at this stage, there is a higher chance of complete resolution with fewer costs and complications. v Medium-Significance Challenges: As the name suggests, these challenges can present specific problems depending on the situation. This type of crisis requires quick analysis so that you can choose an appropriate solution when it escalates into severe problems. v Severe Challenges: Immediate consideration must be given to solving these problems. A high percentage of these issues are those that have not been addressed in the previous two stages. Dealing with these crises typically involves more significant effort, difficulty, and expense. As mentioned, another solution to these types of crises is to address them when they are in the first and second stages. Nevertheless, if such problems arise for you, maintain your composure initially and utilize problem-solving tools to resolve and refer to them. Third Stage of Problem-Solving Skill: Asking the 5 Whys The second step in solving a problem from the five-stage process of these skills is the “Five Whys” stage. In this part, you must ask yourself five critical questions about the challenge you want to address to improve your problem equation. These five questions help you to draw an accurate picture of your situation and avoid distracting thoughts. The first question of these five starts with a “why,” and the next four questions follow on from this initial question. Below, we present these five questions in the context of the same example of increasing imports and decreasing exports. Why have our imports increased while our exports have decreased? You can bring up various answers to this question, but typically, the first reason is the most significant cause of this crisis. Depending on the answer you provide in this section, the next question is raised. For example, if the answer to this question is the lack of quality in domestic production, the next question is quickly formulated. Why do our domestic goods lack quality? Our raw materials are not of excellent quality, which has led to poor quality domestic production. In this manner, the third question can also be raised. As you have noticed, the problem-solving approach in this section is based on providing an answer to the previous question. It is presented as a domino effect until reaching the answer to the fifth question. Why don’t we assist traders in procuring raw materials? Selfsufficiency and the growth of production have not been among the government’s main priorities in the past, and this tradition persists. How can supporting domestic production be prioritized? The answer to this question can vary. You can even raise multiple points in each section and continue the questions about each of them. All of them could be accurate, and you need to address the following questions about all of them and trace them back to the root of your problems. Continue…

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.