Action 16

How To: be a Good Social Problem Solver

(Keep in mind these are recommendations, not rigid rules to be followed.)

  1. Work together with my partner to identify and understand the problematic situation, “What is bothering the two of us?”
  2. Describe the specific behaviors that are occurring or not occurring objectively and check out my view of the situation with the other person.
  3. Express one idea and then stop and allow my partner to respond.
  4. Ask the other person for his/her perspective.
  5. Try to see things from their perspective.
  6. Together work to break down “big” problems into smaller problems and deal with each problem separately. Chunk the problems and prioritize them, together.
  7. Do not dwell on the past or try to blame each other. Focus on right now and the future.
  8. Consider brainstorming (considering as many options as possible) in order to increase the number of alternatives.
  9. Negotiate and compromise in formulating possible solutions that should be stated in clear behavioral terms.
  10. Allow for several attempts at implementing the new solutions.
  11. Discuss the benefits to the relationship when changes have been made.
  12. Set aside a time and a place to have such social problem-solving conversations.

Action 17