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The next of the Eight Traits is Problem Solving, and we’ll split it into two parts – Problem Recognition for Believers, and Solving the Problem once recognizing the actual issue for Achievers.

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Albert Einstein is credited with saying “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” It is with this philosophy in mind that it is important to divide this discussion because if we do not understand the actual problem or issue at hand, our strategy to address it may not be correct.

All too often, the problems and challenges in life are complex, and clouded by symptoms that keep us from understanding what the true underlying issue is. Not dealing with the actual root cause issue can result in ineffective and/or delayed solutions.

Our Integrity as a foundational trait can play a factor in Problem Recognition, as one of our biggest challenges can be being truthful with ourselves and others as to what might really be causing a problem. Sometimes it can be difficult to admit what the real issue is, but not being truthful to ourselves, and facing facts about the problem at its core, will not help solve it.

Curiosity as a foundational trait may also play a factor in Problem Recognition. Occasionally we need to learn more about something in order to fully understand it, or perhaps our understanding of it has changed over time. Sometimes, it is just enough to know that you do not know enough about a particular topic, and stop to engage others to help determine the root cause of the problem. That act alone can be a learning experience, as well as a great Problem Recognition strategy.

By identifying the root cause of a problem, you can develop more effective and long-lasting solution that addresses the problem at its source, or ideally prevents a problem from reoccurring in the future.

Once the challenge or problem has been identified, which more often or not, is half of the battle, it is then on to Problem Solving. When we look at the Blueprint to Achiever building blocks, there are other traits that can be leveraged in order to effectively solve problems. Communication and Collaboration with others can help identify options, especially when the challenges are complex. Sometimes, it's more about you getting the problem solved than it is you solving the problem.

Developing Problem Solving skills promotes critical thinking, decision making, creativity, and adaptability. These are all essential qualities that enable individuals to respond to unexpected challenges and adjust to changing circumstances.

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