Alternative Problem Solving Method

In one of my classes involving the support of education for Burmese teachers, I argued that when you’re trying to solve a difficult problem, it’s important to take the time to clearly understand what the problem is before jumping to solutions. Sometimes, we can make hasty judgments and miss out on important opportunities. For example, a client of mine considered closing her counseling clinic because of money issues. But by looking at the problem from a different angle, it turned out that her concerns were related to deeper emotional struggles. If she hadn’t taken the time to explore the situation further, she would have missed a chance to find a better solution.

To better understand a problem, there’s a method you can use. First, you break down the problem into its different parts, like the main thing you’re trying to solve (noun), the action you need to take (verb), and the situation around the problem (context). Then, you come up with different ways to express each part. You can use a thesaurus to find even more alternative expressions. After that, you mix and match these alternative expressions to create new ways of defining the problem. This exercise can help you see the situation from a fresh perspective and discover hidden aspects you might not have noticed. You see, the language we use influences our thinking and decision-making. Thus, change the language (or semantics) and watch how your interpretation of the problem changes.

So, next time, when facing a challenging problem, take the time to understand what it’s about. Try breaking it down into different parts and developing alternative ways to express each. This can help you gain new insights and find more effective solutions.

The Institute for Myanmar United was created in 2020 to release the power of human creativity to help individuals, communities, and nations reclaim their freedom, unity, and hope.