If there were no barriers in the way of achieving a goal, then there would be no problem.
Problem solving involves overcoming the barriers or obstacles that prevent the immediate achievement of goals.
Everybody can benefit from having good problem solving skills as we all encounter problems on a daily basis.
Some of these problems are obviously more severe or complex than others.
Dealing with a customer complaint may be seen as a problem that needs to be solved, and it's almost certainly a good idea to do so.
The employee dealing with the complaint should be asking what has caused the customer to complain in the first place, if the cause of the complaint can be eliminated then the problem is solved.
However many opportunities are missed or not taken full advantage of.
Often we are unsure how to take advantage of an opportunity and create barriers - reasons why we can't take advantage. All problems have two features in common: goals and barriers.
This stage involves: detecting and recognising that there is a problem; identifying the nature of the problem; defining the problem.
The first phase of problem solving may sound obvious but often requires more thought and analysis.