Problem Solving and Decision Making is the demonstration of behaviours that enable one to identify and solve problems by understanding the situation, seeking additional information, developing and weighing alternatives, and choosing the most appropriate course of action. It involves the willingness to, and demonstration of, behaviours associated with taking a creative approach to problems or issues. It includes “thinking outside of the box” to go beyond the conventional, and to explore creative use of resources.

Growth Levels

Uses an experience-based approach to problem solving and decision making

  • Uses a person directed approach to problem solving and decision making
  • Uses knowledge and/or experience to understand, evaluate and solve problems/issues
  • Identifies and defines problems
  • Considers both common and possible solutions (e.g., “if this, then that” thinking)
  • Breaks problems down into simple lists, activities, or tasks, without assigning values or priorities
  • Evaluates potential solutions
  • Decides on a solution
  • Acts on the solution and evaluates the outcome

Is open to new ideas/solutions

  • Is open minded when presented with new perspectives from families, person supported and others
  • Applies new information to work through problems and situations
  • Recognizes when a situation calls for, or can be improved by an approach different from the usual
  • Identifies discrepancies, trends, and patterns
  • Applies past successful approaches to new situations
  • Uses expertise of team members and generates multiple alternative solutions
  • Recognizes and acts on cause-and-effect relationships (A leads to B)
  • Identifies options to solve a problem and considers the impact of decisions
  • Perseveres through the problem-solving process

Solves complex challenges

  • Gathers information and uses evidence based and/or best practices to assess possible solutions and outcomes
  • Evaluates the benefits and risks to make informed decisions
  • Encourages and coach’s independent problem solving with others (families, people supported)
  • Thinks imaginatively to develop creative solutions or options for which there are few or no precedents
  • Is prepared to try out different solutions, and recognizes underlying issues and implications of decisions, while always keeping the impact on people, families, and agencies in mind
  • Evaluates alternative solutions and identifies and acts on the optimum course of action
  • Recognizes that problems may be multi-dimensional, understanding less obvious implications
  • Solves complex problems that may involve using several analytical or creative techniques to break the problem down into component parts or issues

Drives solutions for multi-layered challenges

  • Proactively identifies multi layered challenges and drives towards positive change across multiple systems
  • Uses a co-design approach when considering solutions to complex problems
  • Thoroughly examines patterns or trends across multiple systems to reach optimal decisions
  • Challenges or modifies existing frameworks to approach a situation from a different perspective
  • Examines potential implications of decisions/solutions on all affected internal and external stakeholder groups