The inquisitive problem solver

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  1. The Inquisitive Problem Solver by Paul Vaderlind, Loren C. Larson, Richard K. Guy (Paperback, 2002)
  2. ISBN 13: 9780883858066
  3. Contest Problems Make Good Books
  4. You are here

It also takes commitment and focus, but eventually, it becomes natural. Write it all down. Carry a small notebook around with you; keep a pad of paper at your bedside table; have post-its at your desk; keep a blog library. Whatever your technique is, give yourself the opportunity to jot things down. They're each a good problem-solving strategy in the long run. Problem solvers know that they need to recognize patterns, especially from the past , so journaling and the act of writing down can help to retain memories and experiences.

Additionally, the habit of writing things down rather than simply thinking about this is a power that needs to be exercised. Attitude is everything; it's simple cognitive psychology. How you psychologically approach a problem is linked to how you view the solution. At the most foundation level, if you believe there is a solution there is a solution. Problem solvers are playful, curious and inquisitive and choose to have a positive outlook and use positive language.

If you think something is impossible, it becomes impossible. Likewise, if you think something is possible, it becomes possible. Your outlook frames everything so choose it actively and wisely. Doing just that is an action plan of its own. Problem-solving is based on trial and error. A key part is the learning and growth process. Ask for feedback.

Pro Tip: Make feedback a part of who you are professionally. Decision-making is a skill in itself and also a problem-solving strategy when you can actually make choices. A key piece of problem-solving is coming up with an idea for a solution and running with it. The point is to get comfortable driving to — and actually making — a decision. Find another option. Sounds obvious, right? For a seasoned problem solver, it might seem like second nature but actually this a conscious choice. To grow this ability try this: Before every choice you make commit to considering another perspective then choosing what you want to do.

Start small.


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When choosing what type of cereal to buy at the grocery store, before you pick up your usual low-sugar, fiber-rich go-to, ask yourself what your seven-year-old would do. What about Fruity Pebbles would make her want you to buy it? Mentorship and role models are important for any career, but for a problem solver they take on another component: modeling. With a good mentor or role model, rather than having to test a specific choice or path a problem solver will learn all she can about the career and choices of a role model or mentor, ask questions when possible, and then make decisions for herself with the knowledge of these learnings.

Employing the scientific concept of modeling in your life and career allows you to incorporate learnings from the experiences of others without having to re-create the wheel. Though, of course, there are some things you have to try for yourself!

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The Inquisitive Problem Solver by Paul Vaderlind, Loren C. Larson, Richard K. Guy (Paperback, 2002)

So have fun, know how to let loose, and don't take everything seriously. Talk about a problem-solving strategy! Another problem-solving method is to slowly steep tea in the morning. Or grind your own coffee. Go to a yoga class late Sunday afternoon to re-set your mind for the week ahead. Have dinner with friends on the second Friday of every month. Establish things that you like to do and do them regularly.


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This helps you train your brain for regularity and create moments in work and life that you look forward to. But also know when and how to regularly change your environment and break habits. This trains your brain to be open to new ideas and breaking the routine. As humans, we are visual creatures.

ISBN 13: 9780883858066

Employing diagrams in your work and life is a great problem-solving method. Try this out by drawing a scenario.

How To Be A Creative Problem Solver

Not an artist? Remember 6. You cannot accomplish something you cannot envision. Feel too squishy? Consider that babies develop motor skills through a process of observation and visualization over time. We all use it when we read books, listen to colleague tell us about her vacation in Greece, or when we imagine the future or remember the past.

Contest Problems Make Good Books

A little unsure where to start? Try simply envisioning a more vivid picture when reading something. We know we should ask questions but are we asking the right kinds of questions to help us solve problems? Questions are a truly incredible part of our lives. When you stop and think of it, so much of our daily human interactions are based on questions. We communicate via questions with our internal dialogue and others on anything from what we want to have for lunch , if we want to buy a cup of coffee or stick to the free coffee in the shared kitchen, when we should make a doctor's appointment, what to wear on Tuesday that will work for happy hour after the office, and what manner to phrase question to our boss meta.

It's easy to get lost in what feels like a sea of meaningless questioning. So take back control! Ask and frame questions in a solution-oriented manner? What advantage to why questions do they offer? They challenge you to find solutions and expand your thinking by going beyond what we already or normally believe true. An early idea may be the tip of the iceberg of a more complex idea. Give ideas time.

Next of Problem Solver

Call it rest, incubation, giving it time to percolate — whatever language you like. Pro Tip: For those who feel uncomfortable with simple rest, first try to get comfortable with it.


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But if you want more guided reflection, before nodding off to sleep, pose a question or two to yourself. Then reflect on this same question when you wake. Rather than seeing only the problem, begin to see it as a big question that you need to answer. Remember to take your playful mindset and that no ideas are "bad.

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List this Seller's Books. Payment Methods accepted by seller. AbeBooks Bookseller Since: 31 May Home Paul Vaderlind; Richard K. Guy; Loren C. Stock Image. Published by The Mathematical Association of America, Used Condition: Used: Good Soft cover. Save for Later. About this title Synopsis: The Inquisitive Problem Solver is a collection of mathematical miniatures composed to stimulate and entertain. I always strive to achieve best customer satisfaction and have always described book accurately. I got lot of Out of Print and Rare books in my store and still adding lot of books. More Information.

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