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About Problem Solving Styles

Problem-solving styles are consistent individual differences in the ways people prefer to deal with new ideas, manage change, and respond effectively to complex, open-ended opportunities and challenges. 

Knowledge of style is important in education in a number of ways. It contributes to adults’ ability to work together effectively in teams and in large groups.  It provides information that helps educators understand their own personal strengths and how to put them to work as effectively as possible across many tasks and challenges. It helps educators communicate more effectively with each other, but also with parents, community members, and, of course, with students.  In addition to its importance for adults, style can also be important in designing and differentiating instruction.

The VIEW Model

Our approach to problem solving style (the VIEW model) represents and assesses three dimensions and six specific styles that are unique and important in understanding and guiding the efforts of individuals and groups to manage their creative problem solving and change management as effectively as possible.

Orientation to Change

The first VIEW dimension involves your preferences in two general styles for managing change and solving problems creatively. We identify this as “Orientation to Change;” its two contrasting styles are the “Explorer” and the “Developer.” Explorers thrive on and seek out novelty and original ideas (“thinking out of the box”), and they may find externally imposed procedures and structures confining and limiting to their imagination and energy. Developers are concerned with practical applications and the reality of the task, and they use their creative and critical thinking in ways that are clearly recognized by others as being helpful and valuable. They’re good at finding workable possibilities and guiding them to successful implementation. They are creative in “thinking better inside the box.”

Manner of Processing

The second dimension of VIEW, Manner of Processing describes the person’s preference for working externally (i.e., with other people throughout the process) or internally (i.e., thinking and working alone before sharing ideas with others) when managing change and solving problems.

Ways of Deciding

The third dimension of VIEW describes the major emphasis the person gives to people (i.e., maintaining harmony and interpersonal relationships) or to tasks (i.e., emphasizing logical, rational, and appropriate decisions) when making decisions during problem solving or when managing change.

Through our research and development efforts, our instrument, VIEW: An Assessment of Problem Solving Style, translates the VIEW model of style into measurable dimensions. The VIEW assessment is a practical and useful tool for anyone who wishes to understand his or her own approach to change or problem solving. Contact us for more information about the VIEW instrument.

Practical Applications of VIEW

Understanding problem solving styles can be helpful in many ways to individuals, teams, small groups, and organizations. VIEW: An Assessment of Problem Solving Style is a carefully researched, but simple and easy-to-use tool that can enable people to understand their style preferences and to use that knowledge in many powerful ways. 

These pages illustrate briefly a variety of practical applications of the VIEW assessment that cut across many settings or contexts (including, for example: large, global organizations; smaller business and professional settings; educational institutions, hospitals, religious organizations, arts organizations, or other non-profits). 

VIEW can be a valuable tool for individuals who are concerned with understanding their personal style preferences and improving their problem solving effectiveness, for teams or groups who need to work together successfully, and to organizations in their efforts to build a constructive work climate, to recognize and value diversity, and to manage change for long-term success. 

Click on any of the following ten applications of VIEW to see examples for that area. (You may also click here to Download a PDF file with all the applications examples in one file.)

Free Resources

Click here to find a number of free resources that will explain CPS, to obtain articles that deal with both research and practice, and to obtain an extensive bibliography to give you direction for future reading and study.

Online Resources:

Click here for advanced online resources in PDF format that deal with applications of the VIEW Problem Solving Style model. These resources are available at a reasonable cost for immediate download. The cost of each one includes permission to duplicate the file for up to three other individuals at no additional charge.

Distance Learning Resources:

Click here for information about our extensive (newly revised and updated) distance learning modules on CPS.

Print Resources:

We also have print publications about problem-solving style that you can purchase.  Click here to view those publications.

Workshops, Training, Consulting Services:

Our CPS programs and services are custom-tailored to meet your needs and interests. We will confer with you, create a complete proposal to meet your unique needs, and work closely with you to carry out our collaborative plan. Click here for more.

Who We Are

We believe that all people have strengths and talents that are important to recognize, develop, and use throughout life.  Read more.

Leadership Team

Our work builds on more than five decades of research, development, and practical experience in organizations. Learn more about our team.

Contact Information

Center for Creative Learning, LLC
2015 Grant Place
Melbourne, Florida, 32901 USA