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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | General Troubleshooting Techniques | Troubleshooting and Your Mental State ]

Don't Jump to the Solution Before You Understand the Problem

I have noticed in my studies of problem-solving techniques that there seem to be differences in the way that many Westerners approach problems and the way that many of those of the East seem to. In Japan, for example, when a problem arises, the focus is generally kept on analyzing the problem for a lengthy period of time, and using specific techniques. In the U.S. and many other Western countries, when a problem arises the focus seems to shift very quickly from the problem to implementing the solution.

The difficulty with jumping quickly to the solution to a problem is that if you don't take enough time to really understand what the problem is, you may end up applying the wrong fix to the situation and making things worse. You will also make it more difficult to figure out what caused the problem so that you can prevent it from recurring. Even if you resolve the situation this time, you may find a similar issue cropping up again in the near future.

The key is to exercise patience. If possible, you want to take enough time to make sure that you understand what you are seeing and what the root cause is. (Although with some sorts of intermittent problems you may not be able to explore the root cause easily). Only by addressing the root cause of the problem will you be able to take the most effective corrective steps and ensure that the problem will go away permanently.

Next: Don't Be Stubborn

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