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02 Oct, 2012

Coaching Academys Trainer – Ann Skidmore’s Top 10 Tips For Problem Solving

Posted by: The Coaching Academy In: Coaching Articles|Tips

Coaching Academys Trainer - Ann Skidmore's Top Tips for Problem Solving

‘All problems are difficult before they are easy’ Proverb

Problems arise when an obstacle prevents us reaching a goal. An objective is something we have decided we need to achieve; an obstacle is anything that prevents us achieving an objective.

Objective + Obstacle = PROBLEM

We encounter a huge variety of problems during the course of our work, with objectives and obstacles of different types and importance. Being able to solve these problems efficiently is essential. So here are my top 10 tips for problem solving:

1. Define the desired outcome.

2. State the problem clearly — half the solution of a problem is understanding what it is.

3. Explain the problem to someone else, or write it down — this will force you to clarify it, and solutions may start to present themselves.

4. Make sure that you have gathered all the information necessary.

5. Identify the part of your day at which you are most productive, and allocate some of this time to the problem.

6. Start with the parts of the problem that seem easy or obvious.

7. Identify apparent solutions, and dismiss those that, for whatever reason, are not feasible.

8. If you are sure that you have all the necessary input, and cannot see the solution, make a conscious decision to leave it for a while — your subconscious mind will work on it.

9. Beware of procrastination — often any decision is better than no decision.

10. It is legitimate to decide not to decide — some problems will solve themselves or subsequent events make it clear what course should be taken.

8 Responses to "Coaching Academys Trainer – Ann Skidmore’s Top 10 Tips For Problem Solving"

1 | Mirren d'Orville Baglin

October 2nd, 2012 at 4:01 pm


Useful reminder for cutting problems down to size.

2 | Bev James MD of The Coaching Academy

October 2nd, 2012 at 4:15 pm


Great tips for problem solving Ann!

3 | Catherine Adams

October 2nd, 2012 at 4:30 pm


Hello Ann,

Yes, procrastination is the worst, and I’m working on it.

I’m also on your e-mail list and welcome Bev’s daily DO ITs! They make me smile and are full of wisdom.

Have a great day!


4 | Anthony Beardsell

October 3rd, 2012 at 12:29 pm


Great tips Ann

In order to get you in the right frame of mind to find your solution it is also worth bearing in mind that problems and challenges are part of life. It is impossible to lead a life without them no matter who you are.

That is one of the reason that people need coaches like you!

5 | Ann Skidmore

October 3rd, 2012 at 11:34 pm


Thanks for all the great comments and feedback. Glad you find the top tips useful. Have you got any top tips to share with this fantastic coaching community? I’m sure you have! Let’s share and compare ….

6 | Alison Duncanson

October 4th, 2012 at 7:22 pm


Yes, helpful thanks. What are Bev’s Daily DO ITS?

7 | The Coaching Academy

October 5th, 2012 at 9:47 am


Hi Alison, Daily DO ITs! are daily emails of hints, tips and quotes to accelerate your success. You can sign up here:

8 | Simon Alexander Ong

October 17th, 2012 at 6:58 pm


Alternatively: (Objective + Belief) – Interference = Peak Performance

A clearly defined objective (which should be written down and where the end result can be visualised, achievable and articulated with feelings) re-enforced with strong, positive beliefs produce “potential”/”powerful and focused state of mind.”

This is the easiest part of the equation, but few will achieve the result of Peak Performance because of the interference element which encompasses such things as negativity, fear, doubt, procrastination, etc. As this is minimised, individuals can begin to perform at a peak level.

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