How it works
Transform your enterprise with the scalable mindsets, skills, & behavior change that drive performance.
Explore how BetterUp connects to your core business systems.
Build leaders that accelerate team performance and engagement.
Unlock performance potential at scale with AI-powered curated growth journeys.
Build resilience, well-being and agility to drive performance across your entire enterprise.
Transform your business, starting with your sales leaders.
Unlock business impact from the top with executive coaching.
Foster a culture of inclusion and belonging.
Accelerate the performance and potential of your agencies and employees.
See how innovative organizations use BetterUp to build a thriving workforce.
Discover how BetterUp measurably impacts key business outcomes for organizations like yours.
A demo is the first step to transforming your business. Meet with us to develop a plan for attaining your goals.
- For Individuals
Best practices, research, and tools to fuel individual and business growth.
View on-demand BetterUp events and learn about upcoming live discussions.
The latest insights and ideas for building a high-performing workplace.
- BetterUp Briefing
The online magazine that helps you understand tomorrow's workforce trends, today.
Innovative research featured in peer-reviewed journals, press, and more.
We're on a mission to help everyone live with clarity, purpose, and passion.
Join us and create impactful change.
Read the buzz about BetterUp.
Meet the leadership that's passionate about empowering your workforce.
31 examples of problem solving performance review phrases
Understand Yourself Better:
Big 5 Personality Test
Jump to section
You're doing great
You should think of improving
Tips to improve
Use these practical examples of phrases, sample comments, and templates for your performance review , 360-degree feedback survey, or manager appraisal.
The following examples not only relate to problem-solving but also conflict management , effective solutions, selecting the best alternatives, decision making , problem identification, analyzing effectively, and generally becoming an effective problem-solving strategist. Start using effective performance review questions to help better guide your workforce's development.
Problem solving appraisal comments: you're doing great
- You always maintain an effective dialogue with clients when they have technical problems. Being clear and articulate makes sure our customers' faults are attended to promptly.
- You constantly make sure to look beyond the obvious you never stop at the first answer. You’re really good at exploring alternatives. Well done!
- Keeping the supervisors and managers informed of status changes and requests is important. You’re really good at communicating the changes to the projects at all times. Keep it up!
- You stay cool and collected even when things aren’t going according to plan or up in the air. This is a great trait to possess. Well done!
- You’re excellent at giving an honest and logical analysis. Keep it up! Effectively diagnosing complex problems and reaching sustainable solutions is one of your strong points.
- Your ability to ability to make complex systems into simple ones is truly a unique skill to possess. Well done!
- You often identify practical solutions to every roadblock. You’re a real asset to the team! Great job.
- You always listen actively and attentively to make sure you understand what the exact problem is and you come up with solutions in an effective manner.
- You have an amazing ability to clearly explain options and solutions effectively and efficiently. Well done!
- When driving projects, you can shift to other areas comfortably and easily. making sure the project runs smoothly. Great job!
Problem solving performance review phrases: you should think of improving
- You always seem too overwhelmed when faced with multiple problems. Try to think of ways to make problems more manageable so that they can be solved in a timely and effective manner.
- Avoiding conflicts constantly with people is not a good idea as you will only build up personal frustration and nothing will be done to remedy the situation. Try to face people when there are problems and rectify problems when they occur.
- Don’t allow demanding customers to rattle your cage too much. If they become too demanding, take a step back, regulate your emotions , and try to make use of online support tools to help you rectify problems these tools can help a lot!
- It’s necessary that you learn from your past mistakes . You cannot keep making the same mistakes , as this is not beneficial to the company.
- You tend to ask the same questions over and over again. Try to listen more attentively or take notes when colleagues are answering!
- Providing multiple solutions in an indirect and creative approach will allow you to be more effective at problem-solving . if you struggle with this typically through viewing the problem in a new and unusual light.
- You fail to provide staff with the appropriate amount of structure and direction. They must know the direction you wish them to go in to achieve their goals .
- You need to be able to recognize repetitive trends to solve problems promptly.
- You tend to have problems troubleshooting even the most basic of questions. As a problem solver and customer support person, it’s imperative that you can answer these questions easily.
- Read through your training manual and make sure you fully understand it before attempting questions again.
Performance review tips to improve problem solving
- Try to complain less about problems and come up with solutions to the problems more often. Complaining is not beneficial to progression and innovation.
- As a problem solver, it’s important to be able to handle multiple priorities under short deadlines.
- You need to be able to effectively distinguish between the cause and the symptoms of problems to solve them in an efficient and timely manner.
- Try to anticipate problems in advance before they become major roadblocks down the road.
- Try to view obstacles as opportunities to learn and thrive at the challenge of solving the problem.
- Remember to prioritize problems according to their degree of urgency. It's important that you spend the majority of your time on urgent tasks over menial ones.
- When putting plans into place, stick to them and make sure they are completed.
- When solving problems, try to allocate appropriate levels of resources when undertaking new projects. It is important to become as efficient and as effective as possible.
- Try to learn to pace yourself when solving problems to avoid burnout . You’re a great asset to the team and we cannot afford to lose at this point.
- Meeting regularly with your staff to review results is vital to the problem-solving process.
- Staff that has regular check-ins understand what it is that is required of them, what they are currently achieving, and areas they may need to improve. Try to hold one-on-one meetings every week.
Madeline is a writer, communicator, and storyteller who is passionate about using words to help drive positive change. She holds a bachelor's in English Creative Writing and Communication Studies and lives in Denver, Colorado. In her spare time, she's usually somewhere outside (preferably in the mountains) — and enjoys poetry and fiction.
10 performance review tips to drastically move the needle
How a performance review template improves the feedback process, 25 performance review questions (and how to use them), 37 innovation and creativity appraisal comments, 6 surefire ways to reach optimal peak performance, agile performance management: how to improve an agile team, 18 questions to ask in a performance self-evaluation, 5 tactics for managing managers effectively — and why it matters, supercharge your team with the advantages of intrinsic motivation, similar articles, 10 problem-solving strategies to turn challenges on their head, teamwork skills self-appraisal comments: 40 example phrases, your complete guide to self-assessments (with examples), 30 communication feedback examples, finding your version of success: 29 tips to accomplish your goals, 30 customer service review examples to develop your team, 8 creative solutions to your most challenging problems, stay connected with betterup, get our newsletter, event invites, plus product insights and research..
3100 E 5th Street, Suite 350 Austin, TX 78702
- Platform Overview
- Connect™ beta
- Sales Performance
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Case Studies
- Why BetterUp?
- News and Press
- Leadership Team
- Become a BetterUp Coach
- BetterUp Labs
- Leadership Training
- Business Coaching
- Contact Support
- Contact Sales
- Acceptable Use Policy
- Trust & Security
- Cookie Preferences
Critical Thinking: 40 Useful Performance Feedback Phrases
Critical Thinking: Use these sample phrases to craft meaningful performance evaluations, drive change and motivate your workforce.
Critical Thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally while understanding the logical connection between ideas in a reflective and independent thinking.
Critical Thinking: Exceeds Expectations Phrases
- Highly demonstrates assertive and decisive ability when finding solutions for problems.
- Knows how to communicate ideas and issues easily in a very clear and concise manner.
- Able to piece together elements and come up with proper deductions on issues.
- Knows how to clarify problems and solutions easily so that other people can understand.
- Evaluates ideas and opinions in an unbiased manner without favoritism.
- Thinks through issues in a very logical manner that results in finding the best solution to a problem.
- Demonstrates excellent problem-solving skills by accessing a problem and devising the best possible solution for it.
- Takes in into consideration different and varied perspectives when solving problems.
- Examines the implications and possible consequences to any particular action carefully.
- Solves problems one by one so as not to mix up issues and ideas.
Critical Thinking: Meets Expectations Phrases
- Uses strategic approachability and skill when it comes to solving issues.
- Demonstrates well assertive and decisive ability when it comes to handling problems.
- Tries to always consider all factors at play before deciding on a particular methods or way.
- Gathers all the required facts and figures before starting to solve a particular problem.
- Always seeks to ask questions as a form of finding a sound basis to solving a problem.
- Not afraid to make mistakes and tries to find creative ways to handle any issue.
- Looks at issues in different angles and not in a one-sided way.
- Shows great flexibility when it comes to changing strategies and tact while dealing with different problems.
- Questions regularly to find out if the decision taken will achieve the desired effect.
- Always feels comfortable and confident when seeking help or advice whenever stuck on solving any issue.
Critical Thinking: Needs Improvement Phrases
- Does not take the time to consider all factors available before making a decision carefully.
- Looks at issues in a one-sided manner instead of having different varied ways of looking at it.
- Finds it challenging to arrive at a concrete conclusion after undertaking any evaluation.
- Not willing to do proper research and relies on outdated data and information.
- Does not demonstrate a curious type of attitude to try to find out a little bit more on issues.
- Not willing to accept corrections and take calculated risks when necessary.
- Does not show enough willingness to try to improve the critical thinking skills.
- Does not present ideas and points in a logical order or outline.
- Looks at issues in a biased and unfair way by not evaluating all factors.
- Not willing and inflexible to change tact or strategy when the initial plan fails to achieve the desired effect
Critical Thinking: Self Evaluation Questions
- How well do you research and gather facts and information before solving an issue?
- Give an instance you hurriedly made a decision without thinking it through and what was the result?
- Elaborate on a given occasion that you made the best decision. How did you feel about it?
- How well do you consider all the factors available before making your decision?
- Do you get to appreciate and learn from your mistakes and how do you deal with making wrong decisions?
- Do you always try to inquire further, what could be the missing elements that could achieve a positive outcome?
- How well do you consider having a concrete conclusion when presenting your ideas?
- When expressing your ideas do you deliver them in a logical manner?
- Do you usually look at issues in a one-sided manner or at different angles?
- How flexible are you when it comes to trying different ways of solving problems other than the intended way.
These articles may interest you
- Outstanding Employee Performance Feedback: Collections Clerk
- Employee Appreciation. Top 100 Quotes
- Employee Performance Goals Sample: Biofuels Processing Technician
- Employee Retention Explained: Meaning And Definition
- Skills needed to be a supplier quality engineer
- Outstanding Employee Performance Feedback: Collections Management Archivist
- Skills needed to be a credit manager
- Good Employee Performance Feedback: Master Control Operator (MCO)
- Good Employee Performance Feedback: Architectural Intern
- Outstanding Employee Performance Feedback: Financial Crime
- Employee Termination Letter Due To Absenteeism
- Outstanding Employee Performance Feedback: Film Archivist
- Skills needed to be a law clerk
- Employee Engagement Action Plan Template
- Poor Employee Performance Feedback: Utility Plant Operator
Building Effective Problem Solving and Decision Making Skills
The standard approach that people tend to follow especially when they are under the gun, feeling stressed is to usually react with a decision which had worked previously. While this may work, however, there is a high probability of you getting stuck in a circle of solving the same problem again and again. Hence, it is advisable to adopt an organised approach to solving problems and making sound decisions . All problems cannot be solved with a rational approach. This article attempts to provide a few basic guidelines which should help you get started once you have practised them a couple of time. Eventually, they will become your second nature and problem solving, and decision making will seem like cake walk to you!
Guidelines for Problem Solving and Decision Making
1. try to identify and define the problem..
This is one of the areas where people seem to struggle because they usually react to what they think the problem may be. Instead of reacting impulsively, you should try and understand more as to why you think there is a problem in the first place. The best way to do this is to identify and define the problem by gathering inputs from others apart from your own opinion. Try asking the following questions to yourself and others:
- What makes you think that there is a problem?
- Where is the problem occurring usually?
- How is the problem occurring?
- When is the problem occurring?
- With whom is the problem occurring? (HINT: Avoid jumping to conclusions and avoid blame game)
- Why is the problem occurring?
If the problem seems to be complex , break it down by repeating the steps that have been listed until you have descriptions of several associated problems.
Verify that you understand the problem clearly and then prioritise the problems . If there are several associated problems, try prioritising the ones you think needs to be addressed first.
You should be able to distinguish between “important” and “urgent” problems. There are times when what we consider to be important issues to consider are actually urgent issues. Important problems need more attention than urgent problems at times.
Try to understand your role in the problem. For instance, when you are stressed out, it tends to appear to you that others are stressed as well. This leads to you quickly jumping into conclusions and blaming others.
2. Analyse the underlying causes for the problem
- There will always be situations when you won’t have the entire knowledge about the problem. Hence, it is always crucial to get inputs from others who may be directly impacted by it.
- While collecting inputs from other individuals ensure that you gather inputs from one individual at a time (at least initially). This is because people tend to be inhibited about sharing their inputs in public.
- Write down what your view about what you have heard from others.
- If there are problems pertaining to an employee’s performance, it is often useful to seek advice from a peer or your supervisor to gather a fair impression of the problem.
- Write down a description of the cause of the problem and make a note of what is the problem, where is it occurring, when it is occurring, how it is occurring, with whom it is occurring and why it is occurring.
3. Brainstorm for solutions to resolve the problem
It is always advisable to keep others involved, as several thinking minds may be better than just one. Brainstorm with others seeking solutions to the problem. Collect as many ideas as possible, then screen them to find the best solution. It is important to remember that when you collect the ideas never pass any judgment on the ideas. You should just write them down as you hear them.
4. Select the best approach to resolve the problem
While selecting the best approach, you need to consider the following:
- Which of these approaches is the most likely to resolve the problem effectively?
- Which is the most realistic approach to accomplish for now?
- Do you have the resources to adopt this approach?
- Are the resources affordable?
- Do you have enough time to execute the approach?
- How much risk is associated with each alternative?
5. Decide your action plan
- You need to carefully consider what the final outcome will look like once this problem is resolved.
- What steps need to be taken in order to implement the best approach to resolving the problem? What systems or processes need to be changed in the organisation to implement this approach?
- How to keep a track if the steps pertaining to the selected approach are being followed or not? (This will indicate the success of your plan.)
- What type of resources (in terms of people, money and facilities) will you need to implement this approach?
- How much time will be required to implement the solution? Plan a schedule which includes the start and end dates.
- Who will be primarily responsible for ensuring the execution of the plan?
- Jot down the answers to the above questions and consider this to be your action plan.
- Communicate the plan to your team and to your immediate supervisor.
6. Monitor how your plan is being implemented
- Is the plan unfolding according to your expectations based on the indicators?
- Will the plan be accomplished as per the schedule?
- If the plan is not turning out to be as expected, then consider asking if it was a realistic plan. Analyse if there are sufficient resources to accomplish the plan on schedule. Furthermore, does more priority need to be placed on certain aspects of the plan? Should you consider changing the plan?
7. Verify if the problem has been resolved successfully or not
In order to verify if a problem has been solved or not, observe if normal operations have resumed in the organisation. While verifying, you need to consider the following:
- What changes need to be incorporated to avoid this type of problem in future? Consider making changes to policies or procedures, introducing training, etc.
- Consider the lessons learnt from this particular problem.
- Prepare a brief memo that highlights the success of the problem-solving effort, and the learning. Share it with your peers, supervisor, and subordinates.
Which is a better approach? Rational Versus Organic Approach
In a rational approach, an individual prefers to adopt a comprehensive and logical approach as explained in the above section. A rational approach involves the following:
- Defining the problem.
- Examining all potential causes of the problem.
- Identifying all alternatives to resolving the problem.
- Selecting an alternative carefully.
- Developing an orderly implementation of the action plan to implement that best approach.
- Monitoring the implementation of the plan closely.
- Verifying if the problem has been successfully resolved or not.
One of the major advantages of the rational approach is that it establishes a strong sense of order in a chaotic situation and provides a common point of reference for similar situations in future. One of the major disadvantages of this approach is that it takes longer to accomplish.
Some people believe that the organisational dynamics and people are not so ordered that a particular problem can be resolved by addressing one problem after another. They are of the opinion that the quality of an organisation is rated on how one handles things while on the road itself, instead of handling issues after arriving at the destination.
One of the major advantages of the organic approach is that it is highly adaptable to comprehend and explain the disordered changes that occur in projects in day to day life. One of the major disadvantages of this approach is that it often provides no clear frame of reference for people to communicate. Measuring the progress of this approach is also a challenging issue in itself.
Content Coordinator at EmployeeConnect
Self Evaluation Comments for Problem Solving (30 Examples)
By Status.net Editorial Team on May 19, 2023 — 9 minutes to read
Self-evaluation is an essential aspect of professional development. It helps you to identify areas of improvement and measure your progress towards achieving your goals. By evaluating your problem-solving skills, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and take steps to improve your performance.
Problem Solving Self-Evaluation Comments Examples
- I was able to identify the root cause of the problem and develop a solution that addressed it effectively.
- I was able to think outside the box and come up with a creative solution to a complex problem.
- I was able to collaborate effectively with my team members to solve a challenging problem.
- I was able to prioritize tasks and allocate resources efficiently to solve a problem within a tight deadline.
- I was able to remain calm and composed under pressure while solving a critical problem.
- I was able to analyze data and information to identify patterns and trends that helped me solve a problem.
- I was able to communicate clearly and effectively with stakeholders to understand their needs and solve their problems.
- I was able to adapt to changing circumstances and adjust my problem-solving approach accordingly.
- I was able to learn from my mistakes and apply those lessons to future problem-solving situations.
- I was able to use critical thinking skills to evaluate multiple options and select the best solution to a problem.
- I was able to break down a complex problem into smaller, more manageable parts and solve each part individually.
- I was able to identify potential obstacles and develop contingency plans to overcome them while solving a problem.
- I was able to leverage my technical expertise to solve a problem that required specialized knowledge.
- I was able to use my creativity and innovation to develop a unique solution to a problem.
- I was able to gather and analyze feedback from stakeholders to continuously improve my problem-solving approach.
- I was able to use my leadership skills to motivate and guide my team members towards a successful problem-solving outcome.
- I was able to effectively manage competing priorities and still solve a problem within the given timeline.
- I was able to use my communication skills to explain complex technical solutions to non-technical stakeholders.
- I was able to use my analytical skills to identify patterns and trends that helped me solve a problem more efficiently.
- I was able to use my problem-solving skills to identify opportunities for process improvements and implement them successfully.
- I was able to use my research skills to gather information that helped me solve a problem more effectively.
- I was able to use my project management skills to break down a large-scale problem into smaller, more manageable tasks.
- I was able to use my negotiation skills to reach a mutually beneficial solution to a problem.
- I was able to remain objective and unbiased while evaluating potential solutions to a problem.
- I was able to use my attention to detail to identify small but critical issues that were contributing to a larger problem.
- I was able to use my interpersonal skills to build strong relationships with stakeholders and work collaboratively towards a solution.
- I was able to use my problem-solving skills to find a solution that balanced the needs of multiple stakeholders.
- I was able to use my persistence and determination to keep working towards a solution even when faced with obstacles.
- I was able to use my time management skills to prioritize tasks and allocate my time efficiently while solving a problem.
- I was able to use my empathy and understanding of others’ perspectives to develop a solution that met everyone’s needs.
Improving Problem Solving Skills
To become a better problem solver, you need to develop critical thinking skills, effective communication skills, prioritize tasks, and use brainstorming techniques. Here are some tips to help you improve your problem-solving skills:
Developing Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation, identify problems, and come up with creative solutions. To develop critical thinking skills, you need to:
- Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to ask questions to clarify the problem or gather more information.
- Challenge assumptions: Don’t accept things at face value. Question assumptions and look for evidence to support them.
- Evaluate evidence: Look for evidence that supports or contradicts your assumptions. Evaluate the quality and reliability of the evidence.
- Consider alternative perspectives: Try to see the problem from different angles and consider alternative solutions.
Effective Communication Skills
Effective communication is essential for problem-solving because it helps you:
- Understand the problem: Good communication skills help you clarify the problem and understand what is expected of you.
- Collaborate with others: Effective communication skills help you work with others to find solutions.
- Express your ideas clearly: Clear communication helps you convey your ideas and solutions to others.
To improve your communication skills, you need to:
- Listen actively: Listen to others and try to understand their perspective.
- Speak clearly: Speak clearly and concisely to avoid confusion.
- Use nonverbal cues: Pay attention to body language and other nonverbal cues to understand what others are saying.
Prioritizing tasks is essential for effective problem-solving because it helps you:
- Focus on the most important tasks: Prioritizing helps you focus on the tasks that will have the most significant impact.
- Manage your time: Prioritizing helps you manage your time more effectively.
- Avoid procrastination: Prioritizing helps you avoid procrastination by breaking down large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.
To prioritize tasks effectively, you need to:
- Identify the most important tasks: Identify the tasks that will have the most significant impact.
- Break down large tasks: Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.
- Set deadlines: Set deadlines for each task to help you stay on track.
Brainstorming is a technique used to generate creative ideas and solutions. To brainstorm effectively, you need to:
- Generate a lot of ideas: Don’t be afraid to come up with as many ideas as possible, even if they seem silly or unrealistic.
- Encourage creativity: Encourage creative thinking by allowing everyone to contribute ideas.
- Avoid criticism: Don’t criticize or judge ideas during the brainstorming process.
To brainstorm effectively, you can use techniques like mind mapping, free writing, or group brainstorming sessions.
Time Management and Productivity
Managing time effectively.
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to problem-solving is managing your time effectively. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details and lose track of the big picture. To avoid this, set specific goals and deadlines for yourself. Make a to-do list and prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency. Use a timer or a stopwatch to keep track of how much time you spend on each task, and try to minimize distractions as much as possible.
For example, if you’re working on a project that requires a lot of research, set a goal to finish the research phase by the end of the day. Break the research down into smaller tasks, such as reading a certain number of articles or books, and set deadlines for each task. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you’re making progress towards your goal.
Feeling overwhelmed is a common problem when it comes to problem-solving. When you’re faced with a complex problem, it’s easy to feel like you don’t know where to start. To overcome this, break the problem down into smaller, more manageable parts. Identify the key issues or questions that need to be addressed, and focus on one at a time.
For example, if you’re trying to solve a problem with a product or service, start by identifying the key issues that are causing the problem. Once you’ve identified these issues, break them down into smaller, more manageable parts. Focus on one issue at a time, and come up with a plan to address it. Once you’ve addressed all of the key issues, you’ll have a better understanding of the problem as a whole, and you’ll be better equipped to come up with a solution.
Being proactive is an important part of problem-solving. Instead of waiting for problems to arise, take a proactive approach and try to anticipate potential problems before they occur. This will help you stay ahead of the curve and avoid potential roadblocks.
For example, if you’re working on a project with a tight deadline, don’t wait until the last minute to start working on it. Instead, start working on it as soon as possible, and set specific goals and deadlines for yourself. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you’re making progress towards your goal. Additionally, be proactive in identifying potential roadblocks or issues that could arise, and come up with a plan to address them before they become a problem.
Performance Review and Goal Setting
When preparing for a performance review, it’s important to set specific objectives that will guide the conversation. Start by reflecting on your current role and responsibilities, and consider areas where you could improve or grow. These objectives should be measurable and achievable, and should align with your personal and professional goals.
For example, one objective might be to improve your communication skills by attending a workshop or taking an online course. Another objective might be to take on more leadership responsibilities within your team or department.
During the performance review, your manager will likely evaluate your progress towards meeting your objectives. It’s important to come prepared with concrete examples of how you’ve worked towards your goals, as well as any challenges or obstacles you’ve faced.
For example, if your objective was to improve your project management skills, you might share how you’ve successfully led a project from start to finish, or how you’ve implemented new tools or processes to streamline your workflow. If you’ve faced challenges, be honest about what went wrong and what you learned from the experience.
Creating an Action Plan
After reviewing your performance, you and your manager should work together to create an action plan for the next review period. This plan should include specific goals and objectives, as well as a timeline for achieving them. It’s also important to identify any resources or support you may need to reach your goals.
For example, if your objective is to improve your technical skills, you might discuss opportunities for additional training or mentorship. If your goal is to take on more leadership responsibilities, you might discuss ways to gain experience through shadowing or cross-functional projects.
Overall, the performance review and goal setting process is an important opportunity to reflect on your progress and set a course for future growth and development. By setting specific, measurable objectives and working collaboratively with your manager, you can ensure that you’re on track to achieve your personal and professional goals.
When writing self-evaluation comments, it is important to be honest and objective. Avoid making exaggerated or false claims about your abilities or achievements. Instead, focus on specific examples that demonstrate your skills and accomplishments.
- Innovation and Creativity Self Evaluation Comments (30 Examples)
- Self Evaluation Sample Answers: Strengths and Weaknesses
- Authenticity: How to Be Your Authentic Self (Examples & Strategies)
- What is Problem Solving? (Steps, Techniques, Examples)
- What is Self Compassion? (Exercises, Methods, Examples)
- How to Cultivate Self-Discipline: Essential Strategies
Decision Making Self-Appraisal Comments Examples
Related Self-Evaluation Phrases
Decision Making Self-Appraisal Phrases Examples To Examine Yourself
- Capability Development
- Problem Solving & Decision Making
Problem Solving and Decision Making
- In-house class
- Public Class
When faced with problems, decisions, risks, opportunities and concerns, you need the right answers - and fast. For over 60 years, KT's Problem Solving & Decision Making workshops have been helping teams and individuals think clearly to: find the root cause of problems faster, make better decisions, manage risks and opportunities, prioritize & plan the resolution of concerns and ask sharper, more incisive questions. KT's instructors will ensure you're ready to use these skills back on the job to make an impact where you work.
What You Get:
- Led by an expert instructor
- Access to digital tools and resources
- Use skills learned immediately on the job
- Certificate of completion
- Certification Credits : 2.1 CEUs
- China - Taiwan
- United Kingdom
- China - Hong Kong
Workshop hours: 8:30am - 5:00pm (PT)
Workshop hours: 8:30am - 5:00pm (CT)
Workshop hours: 8:30am - 5:00pm (ET)
CNY 9,200 for 3 or more
- Nov 27 2023 - Nov 29 2023 Tokyo JPN 176,000 JPY
- Dec 6 2023 - Dec 8 2023 Tokyo JPN 176,000 JPY
TWD 44,000 for 3 or more
- Nov 14 2023 - Nov 16 2023 Berlin GER 1,995 EUR
- Mar 12 2024 - Mar 14 2024 Düsseldorf GER 1,995 EUR
- Jun 11 2024 - Jun 13 2024 Hamburg GER 1,995 EUR
- Nov 19 2024 - Nov 21 2024 Munich GER 1,995 EUR
- Feb 20 2024 - Feb 22 2024 London ENG 1,475 GBP
- Jun 11 2024 - Jun 13 2024 London ENG 1,475 GBP
- Oct 22 2024 - Oct 24 2024 Manchester ENG 1,475 GBP
Vierdaagse workshop Deel 1: 19-20 februari Deel 2: 11-12 maart
Vierdaagse workshop Deel 1: 2-3 september Deel 2: 23-24 september
Vierdaagse workshop Deel 1: 4-5 november Deel 2: 25-26 november
MYR 3,400 for 3 or more
HKD 11,500 for 3 or more
UK Time. Participants from other locations are welcome if this is convenient.
Workshop Hours: 8:30am - 5:30pm (UTC+8)
Workshop Hours: 8am - 2pm (EDT)
Workshop Hours: 10am - 6pm (ET)
Workshop Hours: Noon - 6pm (ET)
Workshop Hours: 8am - 2pm (ET)
5-6 hours per day over 4 days
To see the total select country, date and number of participants
To see the total select language, date and number of participants
In this county services are provided by the official KT licensee.
* Before applicable taxes
Class seats guaranteed with payment. Seat reservations held for 72 hours.
Contact us to inquire for more details or have the workshop customized upon your corporate needs.
Employees at all levels, from the boardroom to the shop floor, who are required to solve problems, make decisions, prevent or mitigate risks, promote or leverage opportunities, and prioritize and plan the resolution of concerns will benefit from this workshop. Well suited for engineering, quality, operations, manufacturing, IT, customer service and maintenance.
- Cut through the clutter & complexity to systematically find root cause for tough problems, and make decisions aligned with business priorities
- Discover the power of KT Clear Thinking and walk away with a framework that integrates easily with Lean, Six Sigma, 8D, ITIL, CAPA, and other methodologies
- Walk away ready to immediately apply these new skills back on the job
Skills developed during KT’s Problem Solving & Decision Making workshop enable you to:
- Conduct root cause analysis (RCA) on complex problems
- Make tough decisions aligned with operational priorities
- Understand and proactively manage risks and opportunities
- Identify and plan for the resolution of high-priority issues
- Ask the right questions to find hidden insight
Return on Investment
By attending the Problem Solving & Decision Making workshop and adopting KT processes, organizations have realized immediate, and long-term, return on investment. These include:
- A computer chip manufacturer solved a long-standing defect problem, saving $2.8 million annually
- A vinyl manufacturer increased annualized production with a significant rise in profits
- A food products manufacturer saved $1.03 million by improving planning and decision making by work teams
- A bank resolved a recurring system failure and restored their international monetary exchange cycle, preserving millions of dollars in interest earnings
- Following a merger, a global company saved $1.3 million on insurance costs the first year and $300,000 in subsequent years using a variety of Clear-Thinking processes
Duration: 3-4 days
Learning Tools Included: All workshop attendees will receive access to online post-workshop learning support tools (coaching videos, tips, tricks, worksheets, KT Solve and more) with a My KT membership
Certification Credits: 2.1 CEUs (for 3-day workshop); 2.8 CEUs (for 4-day workshop)
Training Options: Available as a Public Session, as on-site group training at your location or online.
“The KT processes provided a common approach and helped sift through tons of data, ask penetrating questions, and take the emotion out of decision making.” — CEO, consumer products company
“I used to be afraid to be assigned a root cause evaluation, but not anymore. I know that I just need to follow a systematic process and get the right people involved.” — Maintenance Supervisor
Problem Solving & Decision Making
For inquiries, details, or a proposal!
Request in-house class offer
Subscribe to the kt newsletter.
By navigating the site, you agree to our Cookies Policy
The Difference Between Problem Solving and Decision Making
Decision making and problem solving are two related but different skill sets that apply to distinct business challenges. Sometimes leaders use decision-making techniques when they should be using a problem-solving approach, and vice versa. Knowing the difference between problem solving and decision making and understanding which skill to utilize in a particular situation will help you overcome challenges more quickly.
Seeking a Solution, or Choosing Between Options?
Both decision making and problem solving use information to inform a certain action, but that’s where the similarities end. Problem solving is the process of finding a solution to an ongoing, intermittent, or one-time failure of a process or system to perform at an acceptable level — or perform at all. It consists of identifying the causes through asking basic questions like “where,” “how,” “who,” and “why” to find the solution. Decision making involves choosing between different courses of action by evaluating each based on a set of criteria. It requires implementing an action plan based on what you have learned from problem solving.
A helpful way to illustrate the difference between problem solving and decision making is to consider the difference between a detective and a judge. As anyone who has seen an episode of Law & Order knows, a detective is a problem-solver. Their role is to determine who committed the crime based on evidence. A judge is a decision-maker. They weigh evidence, circumstances, and precedent to arrive at a judgment.
Understanding Differences in Processes and Outcomes
The process of decision making is clear: each option is evaluated based on a set of parameters or criteria. But the outcome is uncertain until a specific decision is made and time tells how well it worked — or didn’t work.
The process of problem solving is not immediately clear. Initially you might not understand the root of the problem, which makes it difficult to know where to start. For example, you can see that the conveyor belt in your warehouse isn’t working, but what made the motor controlling it stop working remains a mystery until you diagnose the problem, system by system. Once the problem is determined and addressed, the outcome is clear: the conveyor belt is again working.
In business, typical problems could be:
- Customer churn is increasing. Solution: expand product offering.
- The organization’s carbon footprint is too big and costly. Solution: implement green initiatives.
- A team is struggling to keep up with leads and organize customer data. Solution: implement a customer relationship management [CRM] system.
The associated complex decisions would be:
- Determining what new product to launch
- Selecting the green strategies that best balance cost and effectiveness
- Identifying which CRM solution is right for your organization
Problem solving and Decision Making: Best Practices
Whether problem solving or decision making, there are some factors you should consider to make the process as successful and efficient as possible. When problem solving, make sure to gather as many facts as you can, which will help make the solution more obvious. For example, app development companies will often take a “ test and learn ” approach to determine what customers want and need in an app. They’ll create a beta version, provide it free-of-charge to customers, and then analyze that data to develop a paid app that meets customer needs.
When making decisions, be action-oriented. This means that you should be able to act on your decisions. Many of your decisions, especially those concerning complex issues, should involve other key employees and subject matter experts for the best results. Gather a team with diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives to help you consider a wide range of options. Be open to feedback; even the most carefully made decision may not work out as expected when implemented. And lastly, you should adopt a decision-making framework that enables you to make the best decisions possible on a consistent basis, in a variety of scenarios.
- Ken Thompson
5 thoughts on “the difference between problem solving and decision making”.
Hi Ken. Problem solving is a skill based on creativity and the ability to see things from many points of view. Decision making in particular requires the ability to manage emotions and a strong sense of responsibility. These are two very important skills in every area and in great demand at work. In the business environment, every good leader should be provided with them to perform at his best in his role.
Thank you for the insight. Agreed – creativity is key for problem solving. Thank you again for visiting the blog, and if you’re interested in learning more on the topic, you might find our Complex Decision Making for Leaders guide helpful. https://alignorg.com/guide/complex-decision-making-for-leaders/
I need help about the similarities of problem solving and decision making
We have an Executive Guide that might help you. You can find it here: https://alignorg.com/guide/complex-decision-making-for-leaders/ .
Every problem solving procedure is made of at least one process of divergent and convergent thinking. In the first part after determining the problem we should look for many many possible solutions in hand (which is one of the many many definitions of creativity). This is the divergent part of thinking (one to many). After having the options in hand, we encounter the second obstacle, i.e. looking for the best option from the many. This second part needs some convergent thinking and decision making skills (many to one). Then, I think the decision making in many cases is a part of problem solving procedure.
Leave a Comment Cancel reply
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .
Decision Making vs. Problem Solving
Decision Making vs. Problem Solving is an important distinction to make. But first, let’s be clear about what a decision is. A decision is a choice. The decision may be complicated and involve many steps and components but, at its essence, a decision is simply a choice.
Decision making and problem solving are similar in that they both seek the positive resolution of an issue. In life we are usually confronted with a problem and often it is unclear how to solve the problem. Decision making is a tool that can be used to solve a problem.
In general, problem solving takes a larger view and usually involves implementing a strategy. That strategy usually includes making one or more decisions. There is an overlap. However, it is generally deemed that decision making is a subset of problem solving.
Here is an example of the distinction:
The Problem: World Hunger
The Solution: Break the problem into small decisions to be made:
- How do we raise the money to purchase the food?
- How do we determine who will receive the food?
- How do we transport the food to the destination?
- How do we prevent corrupt officials from stealing the food?
- How do we deliver the food to the recipients?
Taken together, a series of decisions can solve most problems and rare is the problem that is not solved, at least in part, by making decisions.
The important thing to remember is that when you are confronted with a problem, look for ways to break it down into discrete decisions to be made.
Comprehensive Interview Guide: 60+ Professions Explored in Detail
26 Good Examples of Problem Solving (Interview Answers)
By Biron Clark
Published: October 31, 2023
Employers like to hire people who can solve problems and work well under pressure. A job rarely goes 100% according to plan, so hiring managers will be more likely to hire you if you seem like you can handle unexpected challenges while staying calm and logical in your approach.
But how do they measure this?
They’re going to ask you interview questions about these problem solving skills, and they might also look for examples of problem solving on your resume and cover letter. So coming up, I’m going to share a list of examples of problem solving, whether you’re an experienced job seeker or recent graduate.
Then I’ll share sample interview answers to, “Give an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem?”
It is the ability to identify the problem, prioritize based on gravity and urgency, analyze the root cause, gather relevant information, develop and evaluate viable solutions, decide on the most effective and logical solution, and plan and execute implementation.
Problem-solving also involves critical thinking, communication , listening, creativity, research, data gathering, risk assessment, continuous learning, decision-making, and other soft and technical skills.
Solving problems not only prevent losses or damages but also boosts self-confidence and reputation when you successfully execute it. The spotlight shines on you when people see you handle issues with ease and savvy despite the challenges. Your ability and potential to be a future leader that can take on more significant roles and tackle bigger setbacks shine through. Problem-solving is a skill you can master by learning from others and acquiring wisdom from their and your own experiences.
It takes a village to come up with solutions, but a good problem solver can steer the team towards the best choice and implement it to achieve the desired result.
Watch: 26 Good Examples of Problem Solving
Examples of problem solving scenarios in the workplace.
- Correcting a mistake at work, whether it was made by you or someone else
- Overcoming a delay at work through problem solving and communication
- Resolving an issue with a difficult or upset customer
- Overcoming issues related to a limited budget, and still delivering good work through the use of creative problem solving
- Overcoming a scheduling/staffing shortage in the department to still deliver excellent work
- Troubleshooting and resolving technical issues
- Handling and resolving a conflict with a coworker
- Solving any problems related to money, customer billing, accounting and bookkeeping, etc.
- Taking initiative when another team member overlooked or missed something important
- Taking initiative to meet with your superior to discuss a problem before it became potentially worse
- Solving a safety issue at work or reporting the issue to those who could solve it
- Using problem solving abilities to reduce/eliminate a company expense
- Finding a way to make the company more profitable through new service or product offerings, new pricing ideas, promotion and sale ideas, etc.
- Changing how a process, team, or task is organized to make it more efficient
- Using creative thinking to come up with a solution that the company hasn’t used before
- Performing research to collect data and information to find a new solution to a problem
- Boosting a company or team’s performance by improving some aspect of communication among employees
- Finding a new piece of data that can guide a company’s decisions or strategy better in a certain area
Problem Solving Examples for Recent Grads/Entry Level Job Seekers
- Coordinating work between team members in a class project
- Reassigning a missing team member’s work to other group members in a class project
- Adjusting your workflow on a project to accommodate a tight deadline
- Speaking to your professor to get help when you were struggling or unsure about a project
- Asking classmates, peers, or professors for help in an area of struggle
- Talking to your academic advisor to brainstorm solutions to a problem you were facing
- Researching solutions to an academic problem online, via Google or other methods
- Using problem solving and creative thinking to obtain an internship or other work opportunity during school after struggling at first
You can share all of the examples above when you’re asked questions about problem solving in your interview. As you can see, even if you have no professional work experience, it’s possible to think back to problems and unexpected challenges that you faced in your studies and discuss how you solved them.
Interview Answers to “Give an Example of an Occasion When You Used Logic to Solve a Problem”
Now, let’s look at some sample interview answers to, “Give me an example of a time you used logic to solve a problem,” since you’re likely to hear this interview question in all sorts of industries.
Example Answer 1:
At my current job, I recently solved a problem where a client was upset about our software pricing. They had misunderstood the sales representative who explained pricing originally, and when their package renewed for its second month, they called to complain about the invoice. I apologized for the confusion and then spoke to our billing team to see what type of solution we could come up with. We decided that the best course of action was to offer a long-term pricing package that would provide a discount. This not only solved the problem but got the customer to agree to a longer-term contract, which means we’ll keep their business for at least one year now, and they’re happy with the pricing. I feel I got the best possible outcome and the way I chose to solve the problem was effective.
Example Answer 2:
In my last job, I had to do quite a bit of problem solving related to our shift scheduling. We had four people quit within a week and the department was severely understaffed. I coordinated a ramp-up of our hiring efforts, I got approval from the department head to offer bonuses for overtime work, and then I found eight employees who were willing to do overtime this month. I think the key problem solving skills here were taking initiative, communicating clearly, and reacting quickly to solve this problem before it became an even bigger issue.
Example Answer 3:
In my current marketing role, my manager asked me to come up with a solution to our declining social media engagement. I assessed our current strategy and recent results, analyzed what some of our top competitors were doing, and then came up with an exact blueprint we could follow this year to emulate our best competitors but also stand out and develop a unique voice as a brand. I feel this is a good example of using logic to solve a problem because it was based on analysis and observation of competitors, rather than guessing or quickly reacting to the situation without reliable data. I always use logic and data to solve problems when possible. The project turned out to be a success and we increased our social media engagement by an average of 82% by the end of the year.
Answering Questions About Problem Solving with the STAR Method
When you answer interview questions about problem solving scenarios, or if you decide to demonstrate your problem solving skills in a cover letter (which is a good idea any time the job description mention problem solving as a necessary skill), I recommend using the STAR method to tell your story.
STAR stands for:
It’s a simple way of walking the listener or reader through the story in a way that will make sense to them. So before jumping in and talking about the problem that needed solving, make sure to describe the general situation. What job/company were you working at? When was this? Then, you can describe the task at hand and the problem that needed solving. After this, describe the course of action you chose and why. Ideally, show that you evaluated all the information you could given the time you had, and made a decision based on logic and fact.
Finally, describe a positive result you got.
Whether you’re answering interview questions about problem solving or writing a cover letter, you should only choose examples where you got a positive result and successfully solved the issue.
Situation : We had an irate client who was a social media influencer and had impossible delivery time demands we could not meet. She spoke negatively about us in her vlog and asked her followers to boycott our products. (Task : To develop an official statement to explain our company’s side, clarify the issue, and prevent it from getting out of hand). Action : I drafted a statement that balanced empathy, understanding, and utmost customer service with facts, logic, and fairness. It was direct, simple, succinct, and phrased to highlight our brand values while addressing the issue in a logical yet sensitive way. We also tapped our influencer partners to subtly and indirectly share their positive experiences with our brand so we could counter the negative content being shared online. Result : We got the results we worked for through proper communication and a positive and strategic campaign. The irate client agreed to have a dialogue with us. She apologized to us, and we reaffirmed our commitment to delivering quality service to all. We assured her that she can reach out to us anytime regarding her purchases and that we’d gladly accommodate her requests whenever possible. She also retracted her negative statements in her vlog and urged her followers to keep supporting our brand.
What Are Good Outcomes of Problem Solving?
Whenever you answer interview questions about problem solving or share examples of problem solving in a cover letter, you want to be sure you’re sharing a positive outcome.
Below are good outcomes of problem solving:
- Saving the company time or money
- Making the company money
- Pleasing/keeping a customer
- Obtaining new customers
- Solving a safety issue
- Solving a staffing/scheduling issue
- Solving a logistical issue
- Solving a company hiring issue
- Solving a technical/software issue
- Making a process more efficient and faster for the company
- Creating a new business process to make the company more profitable
- Improving the company’s brand/image/reputation
- Getting the company positive reviews from customers/clients
Every employer wants to make more money, save money, and save time. If you can assess your problem solving experience and think about how you’ve helped past employers in those three areas, then that’s a great start. That’s where I recommend you begin looking for stories of times you had to solve problems.
Tips to Improve Your Problem Solving Skills
Throughout your career, you’re going to get hired for better jobs and earn more money if you can show employers that you’re a problem solver. So to improve your problem solving skills, I recommend always analyzing a problem and situation before acting. When discussing problem solving with employers, you never want to sound like you rush or make impulsive decisions. They want to see fact-based or data-based decisions when you solve problems.
Next, to get better at solving problems, analyze the outcomes of past solutions you came up with. You can recognize what works and what doesn’t. Think about how you can get better at researching and analyzing a situation, but also how you can get better at communicating, deciding the right people in the organization to talk to and “pull in” to help you if needed, etc.
Finally, practice staying calm even in stressful situations. Take a few minutes to walk outside if needed. Step away from your phone and computer to clear your head. A work problem is rarely so urgent that you cannot take five minutes to think (with the possible exception of safety problems), and you’ll get better outcomes if you solve problems by acting logically instead of rushing to react in a panic.
You can use all of the ideas above to describe your problem solving skills when asked interview questions about the topic. If you say that you do the things above, employers will be impressed when they assess your problem solving ability.
If you practice the tips above, you’ll be ready to share detailed, impressive stories and problem solving examples that will make hiring managers want to offer you the job. Every employer appreciates a problem solver, whether solving problems is a requirement listed on the job description or not. And you never know which hiring manager or interviewer will ask you about a time you solved a problem, so you should always be ready to discuss this when applying for a job.
Related interview questions & answers:
- How do you handle stress?
- How do you handle conflict?
- Tell me about a time when you failed
About the Author
Read more articles by Biron Clark
15 Most Common Pharmacist Interview Questions and Answers
15 most common paralegal interview questions and answers, top 30+ funny interview questions and answers, 60 hardest interview questions and answers, 100+ best ice breaker questions to ask candidates, top 20 situational interview questions (& sample answers), 15 most common physical therapist interview questions and answers, 15 most common project manager interview questions and answers, create a professional resume for free.
No-sign up or payment required.