How to find the real problem?

Editor’s note: This article is from WeChat public account “Kizhi School” (ID: openmindclub), author Hidden; authorized to reprint.

The question is well raised and the answer is half.

Difficulties and problems

A-Gump said that life is like a box of chocolates. Yes, the taste of life will indeed be full of “bitterness”, plus “God will never dig into the minds of human beings”, and life will be “Bitter Sea”. As long as we continue to live, do not escape to the paradise, do not hide into a small building, it will always encounter a variety of difficulties.

In a confused, embarrassing, unstoppable situation, anyone who is very uncomfortable is eager to get rid of it. Let’s go to the people around us and seek solutions. As a result, the difficulty turned into a “problem.”

  • For example, we are taking a nap that is about to block the toes and ask how to lose weight?

  • For example, we believe that diligence can make up for it. Why can we make progress after hard work?

  • For example, we have already talked about the benefits of countless collaborations, but top students are still unwilling to help poor students. What should I do?

  • For example, after the company introduced various strict attendance systems, why is Zhang San always late?

A lot of times, we don’t get an answer. It’s not that the problem can’t be solved, but that our “problem” has a problem.

Our problems are too broad and are “big problems”. In many cases, we have to explore the eternal topic of humanity. Maybe we need only one sentence of answer, but our question is too big, the answer may be a book.

Our problem is too ambiguous, the indication is unknown, and the answer is also “to imaginary and imaginary”, filled with the feeling of playing the blind and playing the riddle. For example, please ask “How to lose weight” and answer “Less eat more and move”. This answer is impeccable, but “Everyone on Earth knows” has no practical effect.

In fact, many times, the “problem” we put forward is just a “difficult” statement. So how do you turn “difficulties” into “problems”?


If you want to solve the problem, it is useless in the difficult situation. You need to jump out of the difficulties and stand outside the difficulties to examine the difficulties. This requiresObserving, through observation, a new understanding of the situation, a new information point.

For example, Miss Li wants to lose weight, and she claims to have “closed her mouth and opened her legs”, but it did not achieve results. We cannot simply assume that these descriptions are facts and need to be “observed.”

After a period of observation, we found that Miss Li did indeed “less eat + exercise”, but she is a marketing staff, more entertainment, three meals a day is very irregular. Sometimes, dinner will be dragged into a nightingale, and breakfast is often not eaten, resulting in a bit more lunch.

So, the actual problem of Miss Li may be: how to manage the time and arrange the work tasks to ensure the regularity of three meals a day?

For example, Zhao’s study is very hard, but the test scores are not ideal. She took out the notebook, the notes on it were dense and the workmanship was neat. She also did a lot of practice questions, a thick glimpse. So we tracked her learning process. She is always busy recording every word of the teacher and writing it in her notebook.

However, after closing the notebook after class, she could not recall any knowledge points. She is always doing exercises during her self-study. After she has finished checking the answers, she is anxious to do the next set of papers for why she made such mistakes.

So, the actual question for Zhao may be: how to think better, not “it looks very hard”?

I don’t know the true face of the mountain, only the body is in this mountain. If you are in a difficult situation, you will not be able to see the dilemma. If you jump out and observe, you may get a better perspective. On the basis of comprehensive and meticulous observation of situations and objects, some important but neglected details will emerge, and difficulties will begin to change.


In addition to observation, we also need to change our habits of thinking. In the face of difficulties, or can be said, in the face of any situation, we will generate a solution with a fixed understanding.

This “default idea” is automatically popped up, although it has not been verified, but we feel it is correct. If we don’t control it and there is no external force, we will accept this idea immediately and put it into action, with unpredictable consequences.

A piece of land, long crops, long weeds. To break the “default idea”, you need to run another way of thinking.

Start from scratch

This is the first step in the McKinsey problem-solving process, which is to keep thinking from scratch and return to the original point.

McKinsey’s business consultants receive countless requests every year from customers. If you only give the corresponding advice based on the customer’s questions, it will not solve the problem well.

Because many times, the questions asked by customers are just a description of the difficulties. If you want to find a real problem from the difficulties, you need to think about the “origin” that is difficult to produce.

For example, we know the study group (teamThe importance of cooperation, but the top students (good performers) are not willing to cooperate with poor students (low-performing employees). What should we do?

Some teachers use moral means, “helping others to be happy” is a virtue; some teachers use the collective concept, a single show is not spring, a hundred flowers bloom in the spring garden; some intimidation, you have the ability to help others is selfish; The lure of you, the church and other students give you extra points. These methods, no matter how clever, are only means. Once the top students do not buy, the situation is very embarrassing.

If you think about it from the idea of ​​”starting from scratch”, it is easy to find the fundamental problem of non-cooperation. Back to the original intention of the group cooperation.

The reason why the group cooperation is to let the group members learn better, the top students are not willing to help the students because the students are not able to learn from them, so the problem behind this difficulty may be: how the teacher sets up for all students Challenge issues to promote cooperation. From scratch, you can take fewer detours.

Overlooking the viewpoint

Overlooking the point of view is to get rid of the self-view and think from the overall situation.

For example, although the company has introduced a strict attendance system, Zhang San is often late, and how do we deal with us in the human resources department?

Of course, you don’t have to think about too complicated solutions, and you are dismissed. You can also give advice, be sure to set an alarm clock, or even set multiple alarm clocks. Or “can let a good friend call you to get up.”

In fact, these reactions are all “self-considerations” and are based on personal evaluations. How can we have a “looking over view”?

Why is Zhang San not coming in the morning? Is it too late to sleep at night? Still sick, physically uncomfortable? Or is he not willing to go to work? He is always late, how do colleagues in the company look? If only he is often late, will it make other colleagues feel unfair and affect team morale?

This series of questions includes your own viewpoint, the other’s viewpoint, and the omnidirectional viewpoint of the third-party viewpoint. By constructing the angle of “viewing the viewpoint”, it is possible to touch the place where the real difficulty is hidden.

“When are you going to bed at night?”

“How is your physical condition recently?”

“Are you happy at work?”

“What do company colleagues say about your lateness?”…

When asked here, I got the answer: “Actually, my relationship with my boss is not very good, my work is very depressed…

This makes it clear that Zhang San often overslept because the resistance to the boss caused the body to resist. That is to say, the real problem is not “sleeping” (thinking in the previous suggestion) but “interpersonal relationship with the boss”.

“Overview” is like a eagle eye with a volley down. You can think in a global position and get rid of your ownThinking methods, experiences, and the impact of common sense benchmarks have a fair perspective and discover real problems.

Controlling emotions

Difficulties always stimulate the senses before reason, but it is impossible to get rid of difficulties when immersed in feelings. Regardless of the situation, some facts are clearly placed there, and must be considered and dealt with.

Like all facts, they are tenacious. We can’t use illusion to get rid of them because these facts are unpleasant.

I hope that these facts do not exist, or that these facts are not what they are, they are useless. We can only deal with things and deal with them as they are. We can’t keep an eye on those troublesome facts because of our dislike.

From difficulty to problem, it is the process of “initiating the rationalization of only the emotional factors in the whole situation.”

Through the road to settlement

If we don’t recognize the problem, we can’t solve the problem. The first step in solving the problem is to effectively explain the problem.

A lot of the questions raised are stuck in a state of ambiguity—knowing that something is wrong, but not knowing which one.

Some people are dissatisfied with this ambiguous state, but have not found the root cause of the problem. Avoiding problems or waiting for problems to resolve themselves is self-deception.

As the saying goes, the question is good, and the answer is half. When we look for real problems behind the difficulties, we have set a good start for a smooth solution.