Collaborative Approach to Problem Solving

  1. Each person respectfully and briefly presents his/her understanding of the issue or of the decision that needs to be made.
  2. While each person is presenting this, the other people are listening, using active and reflective listening and respectfully asking clarifying questions.
  3. This discussion continues until each person is clear about each other's understanding of the issue and each person feels heard.
  4. The issue is defined specifically and as non-personally as possible.
  5. (Optional) Criteria are defined that possible solutions must have in order to be successful.
  6. Each person presents possible solutions.
  7. While this is occurring, the other people are ONLY listening, reflecting and asking clarifying questions.
  8. Once it is agreed upon that all possible solutions have been generated, respectful discussion occurs around the costs/benefits of each solution or how effectively each solution meets earlier defined criteria.
  9. The solution with the most potential of working best, or meeting most criteria, is selected to be implemented.
  10. If necessary, an action plan is developed (Who, What, When, Where, How, etc.)
  11. A date/time is scheduled for checking in.