Part 2: Applying psychology to the problem-solving cycle
In the previous part, I explained the need for problem-solving skills in PR and how to ideally find a solution to certain problems. In this part, I will share problem-solving steps and how psychology applies to each.
To ideally solve a problem, certain steps need to be followed. However, they need not be in order; it all depends on the problem you are trying to solve.
First and foremost, PR experts need to identify the problem. Yes, it is an obvious step, but it is not always simple. Subconsciously, you may mistakenly identify an incorrect source, making your attempt to solve the problem inefficiently. To best identify the source, you need to do one thing: research.
After the source of your problem has been identified, you need to properly and fully define it so you can attempt to solve it. Defining your problem can be the hardest step, but the most important one as you need to properly diagnose a situation, allowing you to focus on the actual problem and not the symptoms.
When the problem is accurately defined, a strategy needs to be set based on approaches that vary, depending on the problem itself. This step includes research, gathering information, and organising them. As in all cases you can possibly think of, the more information available, the better you can solve the problem at hand.
To solve a problem, you need to have some resources. Before attempting to solve the problem, you need to determine its priority. Think of the 1 – 10 scale: rank the problem you are trying to solve on a scale of 1 – 10, with one being the least problematic. The higher the problem ranks on the scale, the more resources you need to allocate to develop the ideal solution.
To be effective in solving a problem, you need to monitor its progress when working on a solution. If at any step you realise that you are not making good progress towards solving the problem, it is best to revaluate your approach or change the initial strategy.
The last and one of the most important steps in evaluating your results after the ideal solution is reached to appropriately identify if it is the ideal solution to the problem you are resolving. This is the step that psychology really deepens in by subconsciously tracking all the steps you used to reach the solution.
It is fascinating how psychology can affect your verbal communication, and uncovering the secrets of psychology is not a process that is completed in a day. Stay tuned for my upcoming blogs to uncover the secret communication of the body and mind!
Antoine Boghos is Account Manager at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me