Developing Problem Solving Skills in Today’s Workplace 今時今日職場的必備技能 — 解決問題能力

In a metropolitan city such as Hong Kong, we need to use our problem solving skills in interpersonal relationships, our studies and the workplace. Also, prospective employees need to demonstrate their problem solving and analytical skills to win job offers. An organization’s success depends heavily on the willingness of managers to help employees develop their problem solving abilities. Team building activities targeting these areas include communication and collaboration, adaptability, and strengthening decision-making skills.
在香港這樣的大都市,無論在人際關係、學業還是在職場上,我們每天都需要解決問題的技巧。假如你想於見工面試時在眾多的應徵者中突圍而出,你必須向招聘者展示你的解決問題和分析能力以贏得工作機會。每一間公司的成功因素,很大程度上取決於主管是否願意幫助員工發展解決問題的能力。能夠有效發展團隊的訓練包括溝通、合作、適應力以及增强決策能力。

Research clearly indicates that problem solving and using initiative are among the top 10 skills in the recruitment of graduates. Employers expect to hire graduates who: 1) take personal responsibility to make sure goals are achieved; 2) can see that there may be a better way to doing things; 3) are prepared to research and implement change; and 4) can find ways to solve unexpected problems and be persistent. Research into employers’ expectations shows that the ability to use initiative, think critically and be creative and proactive are essential qualities in a
successful job seeker.
許多研究顯示,解決問題的能力和主動性是招聘畢業生時的十大求職者須具備的技能之一。僱主期望畢業生:一、能承擔個人責任,確保能達到目標;二、能夠發掘更好的處事方法;三、具備研究和應變能力;四、遇到意外狀況時,可找到解決方法並堅持不懈。許多僱主都表示,畢業生若能夠主動運用批判性思考去解決問題,並具創意和抱有積極態度都是受聘的重要素質。

Since analytical and problem solving skills are vital in candidate selection, it is likely that you will need to answer these questions in your job application that provide evidence of your competencies in the following areas:
當你求職面試時,你可能需要回答以下問題來證明你具有分析及解決問題的能力:

  • Describe a situation when you have demonstrated effective use of your skills to solve a complex problem;
    形容一個你曾有效地運用不同技能來解決複雜問題的情況;
  • Describe a complex problem you have faced and the actions you used to solve it; and
    描述一個你曾面對的複雜問題;
  • What methods did you use and what was the result or conclusion you have reached?
    承上題,你用了甚麼方法及行動去解決?而你最後得出甚麼結論?

The best approach to address the above questions is to cover the detailed process of your problem solving instead of just outlining the problem. Illustrate your examples of how you use creativity, initiative, and effective deployment of resources in your problem solving exercise. Self-reflection on lessons learnt from this process also adds value to your answer.
回答上述問題的最好方法是詳細地描述你解決問題時的過程,不要簡單地概括曾面對的問題。舉例說,於解決問題的過程中,你是如何運用你的創意、主動及有效地調配資源;此外,講述事後的自我檢討或從中的得著,也會給你的答案加分。

Problem solving involves analytical and critical thinking, creativity, logical and methodical reasoning, as well as team working skills. The IDEAL model is a simple model of problem-solving which involves identifying the problem, defining the problem, examining the options, acting on a plan and finally looking at the consequences. The process starts with identifying the problem, then goes on to evaluate potential courses of action and select the best option to handle the problem. In a teamwork situation, it also requires a detailed understanding of the group and their core strengths. Problem solving activities help to identify strengths and develop problem solving capabilities and tactics in an interesting and cooperative way.
解決問題需要分析力、批判性思維、創造力,邏輯性和有條理的推理與團隊合作的技巧。IDEAL模式是其中一個解決問題的模式。它識別問題、定義問題、探索其他的可能性、推行計劃並作出最後檢視的結果。這個模式從識別問題開始,然後我們需要評估採取了甚麼措施才合適, 並選擇最佳的方法去解決問題。在團隊合作的情况下,還需要對團隊有透徹的認識及了解到各人的長處。從中可以找出隊友的長處,並以有趣和共同合作的方式解決問題。

It is important to bear in mind that when engaging in problem solving games and activities, there are no winners or losers. Although some games end up with a winning party, the ultimate goal of these exercises is to develop team cohesion and team working skills. The winning team should learn from the exercise by sharing and reviewing their strategies and thought process at the end of the activities.
緊記,參與解決問題的遊戲和活動時,並沒贏家或輸家。雖然有些遊戲最終會有勝利的一方,但是這些練習最終的目標是發展團隊的凝聚力和團隊的合作精神。獲勝的團隊應該在活動結束時透過分享和檢視策略及思考過程,從而得到啟發。

Author – Dr. Teresa Li
作者 – 李淑芬博士

Currently the Programme Manager (postgraduate) at University of Sunderland in Hong Kong. Also an experienced administrator/professional practitioner with over 20 years’ of practical experience in strategic management.
現任新特蘭大學香港分校研究生課程主任,同時是經驗豐富的資深管理人員及專業從業人員,在策略管理上擁有20多年的實戰經驗。

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