Show notes: Episode 10, Problem Solving

Join David and Kim for a chit chat about problem solving. Problem Solving is the first competency in the Decision Making composite. This is the tenth broadcast in our fifteen part series on EI.

Here are some notes and links from the show. Please join us in two weeks on Friday, December 4th at 9:30AM Pacific, for our next broadcast on Reality Testing. Need a reminder? You can subscribe to our EQ and You reminders.


Problem Solving is the ability to find solutions to problems in situations where emotions are involved. Problem solving includes the ability to understand how emotions impact decision making.

Are you problem solving or ruminating?

Emotional Intelligence and Problem Solving Strategy: Comparative Study Based on “Tower of Hanoi” Test

Tali Sharot, Ted Talk

The benefits of optimism are real

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Friere


Partial Show notes

0:00 Introduction, by David
1:00 David: People don’t always recognize problem solving as a dimension of emotional intelligence…
1:30 Kim: Well, and life is about solving problems… self-regard and emotional self-awareness both come to mind as related competencies…
2:30 David: We’re not just talking about big, world problems… how we satisfy our basic needs like eating and fitness are perfectly good examples…
3:45 Kim: “Concern” is the awareness of a problem, sometimes before you’re aware of the actual problem…
4:10 David: Right, and how that concerns presents affects how we frame problems, or think about problems. This is how emotions can contribute to the context and lead to overwhelm or procrastination…
6:40 David: Sometimes people think, “shouldn’t I just set my emotions aside?” and the problem with this approach is that it doesn’t work. Our emotional operating system is always operating in concert with our cognitive system…
7:50 Kim: Yes, and I like that idea of mindfulness – becoming aware of what’s happening alongside the cognitive…
8:30 David: We need to consider problem solving in the context of individuals but also in the context of teams… in a team, our empathy becomes very important, for example…
9:40 Kim: There’s an idea that leaders sometimes have that they’re responsible for solving a problem…
10:40 David: …teams that solve problems together, get buy in from everyone…
11:30 Kim: Decision that get made, even if they go badly, get supported by team members that feel heard, that feel trusted…
12:30 David: …creativity is an important part of problem solving…
13:30 Kim: Not all problems are multiple choice tests…
15:00 David: In addition to creativity, is the idea of critical thinking. We really need to be critical and to question everything… it’s reality testing
16:30 David: …when we get critical of what we believe, we get out of our comfort zone… we over focus on the rational part of the process, but we need to be able to be aware of how we’re feeling and add that to the logic of the problem solving process…
18:30 Kim: Emotional information is valuable information to bring to the table in a collaborative environment…
19:00 David: Problem solving happens best in collaborative, inclusive environments… involving people is an effective use of human resource, and it’s never too late to start including others in decision processes…
20:30 Kim: On-boarding and engaging new team members is so important… people start operating from a more intrinsic motivation…
22:00 David: It never ceases to amaze us how much people want to be included in decisions. They want to be involved. It’s not a burden. And sometimes people will decline being a part of a process, and that is great too…
22:30 Kim: There’s this idea that ideas get taken up because of the firmness and concreteness – that flexibility is waffling, but really it’s not…
25:00 David: What organizations are hearing from their employees and team members, is that folks don’t want to be kept in the dark. People want to be kept apprised and be involved in the direction…
27:00 Kim: And the learning is not about getting to an endpoint, it’s about continued appraisal and continued growth
27:30 David: …we can learn to find the balance in navigating our emotions surrounding our problems and problem solving…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *