Different Styles of Problem Solving

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This week, Dr. Kathy Maupin and Brett Newcomb continue their discussion on decision making by analyzing different methods and habits of problem solving. They also discuss crisis management and different individuals’ reactionary tendencies.

One of the most fascinating differences among people is the way they perceive and approach problems that need to be solved. Some people by their nature are prepared to hunker down and endure, trusting in fate, God, or something else, that the current problem will work out the way that it was meant to be.

Other people seem to gravitate to the opposite extreme and believe that responsibility and the power to take charge and attack a problem is well within their skill set. Still others seem to fall somewhere in between. These individuals may organize themselves to figure out a solution or a plan for solving a particular problem that has gotten their attention, but they generally live their lives on autopilot, just drifting along the stream of life: taking charge of the steering wheel only when something crucial comes up. This group generally does not plan ahead, but trusts in their resources and abilities to overcome the difficulties they encounter. Yet these people will plan ahead for a specifically identifiable challenge if someone gets their attention and says “warning, problem ahead” or “look out there is a problem” or “help me.”

Which one are you? This week, my friend Brett Newcomb and I continue a discussion we began in our last podcast (197) concerning how people make decisions and act on choices in their lives—with a particular focus on health and aging concerns. We focused on aging and the loss of testosterone and other hormones and what we know can be done about this problem. We were particularly interested in how people made the choices they made once the information was presented to them. What a person decides—and how they act—will be determined by their perception of crisis, capacity for impact and change, and authority or responsibility for the decision making.

Are you a proactive problem solver who anticipates difficulties and consequences and factors them into your choices? Or are you a reactive survivor who takes things as they come and reflexively moves with skill and grace to survive whatever it is. Or, like so many of us, are you the one in the middle who sometimes plans and more often reacts and endures?

Listen to this week’s podcast for a stimulating discussion about your life’s script and its messages about problem solving and choice making.

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