As mentioned in the Introduction, Part One of this book is an extended essay which has the aim of (i) providing a general introduction to the subject matter of problem solving in relation to people, and (ii) setting the scene for Part Two and the various tools, methods and techniques to be found there. Many people can work in the people professions without realizing that problem solving is a key part of what they do. For example, I have come across many managers who complain of people getting in the way of their doing their job — as if they fail to grasp that helping people solve their problems (so that they can achieve their maximum level of quality and quantity of work) is a key part of any manager’s role. Similarly, I have come across many social workers who get bogged down in ‘ providing services’, who lose sight of the rationale for providing such services — that is, to solve a problem or meet a need (Thompson, 2009b). Many more examples could be provided of managers and professionals engaged in a wide range of settings who have fallen into the trap of failing to appreciate the problem-solving nature of their work.
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