Communication and Problem Solving – Part One

Communication is the process of conveying information from one person to another. It is a two way process because it involves listening and reflecting the responsibility of speaker or listener, its clear, and uses proper feedback, whereas problem solving is a mental process and involves finding the problem and solving it.

All these concepts are important in health care teams. When issues are analyzed and people reach to a mutual understanding, problems will not arise. In this case, we perceive and solve a problem of the present situation and the desired goal.

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In this light, problems in the health care team were caused by conflicts which involved the following: competition that occurred when a person was trying to achieve what another person was trying to accomplish, when team members were treated differently especially by leaders, incompatibility of aims and objectives in a group, ethnic differences, and a clash on peoples’ beliefs.

In essence, conflicts arise when people feel threatened regardless of whether the threat is real or not (Cornell, 2010).

Communication in problem solving was important in solving the conflicts because solutions depend on how team members relate. With reference to group management, the steps of problem solving are discussed here. The first step is problem orientation, which involves accepting that a problem is within the team.

Each problem is tackled with confidence and willingness to take the best action and devote time to arrive at a solution. The communication should be started in a positive way; this can only be achieved by avoiding finger pointing.

Pawar (2007) expounds that good listening skills are applied in conversations and time should be given for discussion if there is much pressure to arrive to a solution and if the matter is too emotional it can be discussed later when people have cooled down. People should treat one another with respect especially if the issue being discussed is critical hence kindness must be maintained all through.

The next step is problem definition, which entails understanding the problem and knowing the cause of the current situation. This involves thinking about the problem, understanding it, and determining why the situation is distressing.

This is vital and this is done by writing down the problem, discussing the problem with the idea of a positive outcome, and listing down the facts leading to the problem. Each idea is evaluated carefully and problems should be discussed one at a time because when many issues are raised they might cause confusion. In doing so, a feasible solution can be realized.

Generation of alternative solutions is another step which involves taking measures of what can be done to work better. Possible options are written down and implausible ideas discarded. The next step is decision making which entails thinking about the discussed option and how to implement it and considering the likelihood that each option has in achieving goals.

Solution implementation comes in when all the options are discussed, while examining the chosen solution, and how it is solving the problem. If a solution is not easy to implement, other options are considered, thus making the team to solve the conflicts.

In conclusion, solving problems is not an easy task, and may take several solutions before it works. Listening is the best skill applied in communication and problem solving involving health care teams. This is because it demands that we set aside our agendas and thoughts and put ourselves in other people’s situation and see the world through their eyes.

This requires that we suspend conclusion and approval to understand another person’s point of view. We should understand each others attitude, behaviours and motivation; in this case we will have an inner understanding of the problem and the solution to reaching into an agreement.

When we listen and communicate effectively, we have a deeper understanding of another person’s perception and thus we are able to work with people who have different opinions, values, beliefs and needs than our own.


Cornell, K. (2010). Webkaizen, Faster Cheaper Problem Solving for Business. Omaha NE: Prevail Digital Publishing.

Pawar, M. (2007, May). Getting Beyond Blame in Your Practice. Family Practice Management, 14(5), 30-34. Retrieved from


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