What Is the Actual Problem

Many times, the real problem facing you can be difficult to determine. For instance, your teacher returns your essay with a poor grade and tells you to rewrite it. With no other feedback, you may be unsure about the real problem with the essay and therefore unable to correct the problem effectively. In this case, defining the problem entails some work; you will need to read the essay over carefully first to see if you find it. If it is still not apparent, you should approach your teacher and ask him to be more specific.

At other times, your problem may seem overwhelming in its size and complexity. You may avoid dealing with it because you think you do not have the time or energy to deal with such a large issue. However, when you take a closer look, there may be only one real problem of manageable size, and a number of offshoots of that problem which will resolve themselves once you deal with the actual problem.

How do you go about defining the real problem? There are a few of things to keep in mind.

■ Get the information you need, even if you have to ask for it.

■ Do not be tricked into solving offshoots, or other consequences, of your problem instead of the problem itself.

■ Do not be overwhelmed when you are faced with what looks like, or what you have been told is, a giant problem.

Friendly Persuasion

Friendly Persuasion

To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them

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