It has been said that change is the only constant. With change, with the pressures of daily life (professional, academic, or personal), come problems. Problems are essentially the separation that lies between where we are and where we want to be. Solutions are the bridges we build to cross that separation. In order to survive, living creatures solve problems; as far as we know humans are the most skilled of problem solvers. We also know that those who become proficient in the methods and tools of problem solving, and who understand their own problem solving preferences, strengths, and limitations, are the most effective problem solvers. Each of us approaches problems and challenges in our own way, trying to find effective solutions to enable us to attain the greatest benefit, put the problem behind us, and move on. Each person looks at problems, challenges and change differently. We differ in the ways we define a problem, in our search for solutions, and in preparing to take action on our solutions. Problem solving style influences behavior whether one is working alone, with a partner, or as part of a team or group. VIEW provides individuals insight into their own preferences along three important dimensions. These insights can help build understanding of style, provide group members with a common vocabulary, provide an appreciation of the need for different problem solving approaches, enable us to use tools as effectively and efficiently as possible, and, on the whole, help us to increase our effectiveness as problem solvers.
A leader was working with a group of very able individuals. They identified a problem and began to work on developing a solution. As the meetings progressed several things became apparent: while the problem was defined, different group members were treating that definition differently. Some members who offered many new ideas had their ideas instantly criticized by others. A few members seemed to do most of the talking, but one individual never said a word (except for a few passing comments after the sessions ended). Whenever closure and consensus seemed within reach, one individual continued to add new twists and new ways of viewing the problem. The group completed the VIEW assessment. After the group members received feedback on their scores, they decided to make a fresh start. They organized their problem-solving sessions around the various strengths of individuals. Developers allowed Explorers to take the lead when generating ideas, agreeing to withhold judgment until they presented many and varied possibilities. Explorers also learned how to benefit from the guidance of group members who were concerned about practicality, structure, and making things workable. People learned how to look at ideas objectively and logically, but also consider the impact of possible solutions on people. They structured their work to accommodate the needs of External processors for conversation or discussion, and also to provide time for reflection and to check with those who had a more Internal processing style to insure that their input was not overlooked. In this way, the group found new solutions and put them into action successfully.