Kiosk Guides for Learning

Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation. 
Mahatma Gandhi
1869 - 1948
Indian pacifist

Problem solving series

Managing by exception

This exercise will help you identify matters of importance within a problem.

Managing by exception
Work on those matters that are critical to you
Leave matters to others that are not.

One strategy is to identify and chose one remedy that is most "doable" where you will have the best chance of success toward solving the problem. This will give you confidence to continue with the others, and solve your problem!

Strategizing and prioritizing:
Use the exercise below to

  1. Write out your problem
  2. Identify eight "aspects" or characteristics of the problem
  3. Number each, from 1 -8, with "1" being most important, "8" the least
  4. Eliminate the 4 least important!
  5. Focus on the four remaining.

Example of managing by exception:

You tutor a child in math.
You become aware that the family situation is troubled,
but you haven't the training, skills and professional experience or qualification to help:

You inform the case manager for his/her action and recommendation,
but continue to focus on the supporting the child with his/her homework

  1. Informing the manager is the most appropriate first step
  2. Following the manager's advice the second
  3. Continuing to help with homework a third
  4. Just being there to listen in a supportive manner a fourth.
Meeting challenges:

Problem solving overview | Defining the problem | Gathering information |
Developing/weighing alternatives | Implementing decisions |
Graphic overview of process | Adaptive decision making |
Managing by exception | Managing stress | Motivating yourself |
Problem based learning | Using analogies in creative problem solving