Learning to Solve

 Learning to solve is a process of defining “what is the current state,”  determining what it could or should be, and then applying problem-solving tools to make change happen to get from where you are to where you want to be.

Along the trail in the Grand Canyon various obstacles show up.  This requires knowledge of the conditions of the trail and what tools and problem-solving methods may be required to get past the obstacle.  In the image below, the path became very small.  The foot holds were 6 inches deep and the hand holds about the same.  This is not a place to cross with a 45 pound backpack on.  The solution for this section of trail involved one person on each side and hoisting the packs across with a rope.  We knew this section was on the trail so we came prepared with the appropriate rope to ferry the packs.


This image below is another section of trail but covered in snow.  This required traction devices on our boots along with sturdy hiking poles for safe crossing.


We understood what we would likely experience and were prepared to have the appropriate tools and understanding of how to use them to successfully pass along the trail.  The same is true for problem solving processes.

There are many tools available to solve problems and we need an understanding of many of them to be successful.  There must be awareness of how to utilize various problem-solving tools and under what circumstances to apply them.  A rope would not have helped cross the snow just as foot traction would not have helped crossing the narrow ledge.

Learn what the various tools are, when to best use them and how to apply them.  One size does not fit all.

Read on for the 3rd component

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