Interpersonal SkillsLeadership SkillsSoft Skills

Problem-solving Soft Skills

Problem-solving Soft Skills  

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Ability to think creatively, solve problems and discover innovative solutions are qualities that employers are looking for. The highest-paying jobs generally require a high level of critical and analytical thinking. Thus, your problem-solving soft skills are surely useful.

The greatest thing about the Apple’s Steve Jobs – as per his colleagues, was being the most effective problem solver of his day. Thus, it’s not surprising that many companies are looking for problem solvers.


Watch this problem-solving video – What’s the best method to take a peanut out of a tube which cannot be moved? Learn how a chimpanzee solved this dilemma in the video below. (Geert Stienissen 2010)

List of key problem-solving soft skills and attributes


Being analytical involves breaking down big problems into smaller issues, collecting and analyzing data, managing information efficiently, comprehending difficult organizational materials, extensive reading, and finding alternative solutions. All data relevant to your work is useless if there is no understanding of how to analyze it.

The Artistic Sense

An artistic mind is a great way to appreciate your creativity in your work and try to surpass the limits of what is normal. This will help you develop an enduring vision that others might not be able to grasp and boost your creativity since you can see things in a new way.



Collaboration with others to exchange ideas to develop something together is invaluable and beneficial to the company. Understanding the process of brainstorming and how to get the most out of your brainstorming sessions can help increase your work efficiency.

Brainstorming requires collaboration, creativity, and the ability to think critically. This is an essential capability because most innovative concepts and products begin with an idea-making session.


Design is a broad ability that includes aesthetic, analytical, and functional aspects. If you have this skill, you will be able to determine how several small pieces fit together to create a functioning product. Having a keen sense of design is about meeting a customer’s needs with something you can create. While design-savvy as a capability is typically used in creating new products, businesses may use employees’ skills in design to improve their existing processes, products, or business models.

Divergent Thought

Divergent thinking requires developing new and innovative solutions to a basic problem. It is the process of making decisions after thorough research to satisfy your company’s needs. By acquiring this knowledge, you will be able to conduct “thought experimentation” and think out of the box to come up with possibilities for solutions to problems and create innovative ideas that haven’t yet been thought of.



By experimenting, you can think outside the box when searching for the solution to the issue. That means you’re open to trying new ideas and remain flexible until you discover the solution you’ve been searching for.


Imagination encourages creativity and innovation. People who have strong imaginations possess the incredible ability to allow their ideas to expand, develop and result in innovations that have changed how we live our lives. Simply put, imaginative power can become the primary factor in the development of our society.


Innovation and innovative thinking have become vital problem-solving soft skills for success in developed economies. It requires creative problem-solving that tackles problems with unique insight to develop suitable solutions. Creative out-of-the-box thinking breeds innovation. The most cost-effective business strategies come through innovation.

The innovation (human creativity and lateral thinking) has seen the emergence of companies like Facebook, Apple and Google in the last few decades.

Due to fierce competition and massive changes in consumer behavior, every company is looking for people with an innovative bend of mind.


Insight is the time of clarity that occurs when you come up with an answer or make connections between new information and your existing knowledge, and you can tell instantly that the idea is right. Complex issues have many more variables than our brain can comprehend simultaneously; however, being able to see the bigger picture and sharing your thoughts with colleagues at work could lead to new ideas. In the modern world and more democratic management, insights from any employee are considered and encouraged.


Research has shown that those with a high score on the inspiration scale (meaning the ability to be motivated) also possess the highest evocation, transcendence, and motivational characteristics. They’re often open to new ideas and exhibit greater creativity than people who are not often motivated.

Lateral Thinking

Through the power of lateral thinking, you can be creative and come up with new ideas. Thinking laterally can help you change an existing concept to a fresh one by changing direction. Lateral thinking is one of the crucial problem-solving skills that have re-designed the old business concepts and processes into something new and fresh.

Logical Reasoning

The problems require a logical desire to recognize the relationship between the facts and identify logical patterns. By using logic, you can quickly dismiss incorrect answers and build on your knowledge independently without needing gradual instruction.

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping can help improve your memory with visuals and colors and foster imagination and help you come up with new ideas. People who can utilize this technique can make visual connections between their thoughts and ideas and organize them before deciding the most effective method for doing things.


Improved observation skills help you see the details that increase your decision-making ability. Also, it improves your ability to interact with others. You listen well when you possess good observation skills and are conscious of what’s going on in the surrounding area.


To achieve success, You must be able to commit to the things you love, even when times are tough. A lot of dedication and long hours will enable you to achieve what you want. The greatest results could occur right after your most successful mistakes if you’re determined.


It is an essential task used to resolve problems, gain knowledge, and make decisions. It is crucial to answering questions correctly when trying to understand new things. Without it, communication can be a failure. The ability to ask questions is a crucial element of effective communication.


Leaders should be able to see situations from multiple angles to understand what’s happening and handle the situation efficiently. Reframing your thoughts expands your perspective through various mental models to determine the situation and what you have to accomplish in a difficult scenario.


By gaining experience in troubleshooting, you’ll understand how systems function and how you could implement improvements. Troubleshooting requires vital problem-solving soft skills like imagination and logical thinking. To solve a problem, you have to consider all possible solutions and evaluate the requirements of each method. You’re more likely to tackle complex issues if you have this ability.

Resources & Acknowledgements

Video: [Geert Stienissen, 2010] National Geographic. [Geert Stienissen]. (2010, August 19). Insight learning: Chimpanzee Problem Solving [Video file]. Retrieved from

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Marty Hoffman

Marty Hoffman, MBA, PhD Management Consultant for Fortune 500 and Corporate Strategist 📍 San Francisco, CA More »

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