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Problem Solving Technique and Problem Solving Style Inventory - HRDQ
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SKU: 1004E2FG

The Problem-Solving Style Inventory assesses your usual problem-solving methods in relation to essential factors for addressing particular situations. It aids in recognizing primary and secondary styles of decision-making and conflict resolution in the workplace.

Problem Solving



Leadership teams and upper management

1 hour


Do you engage employees to help fix company problems, or do you usually devise resolutions on your own? The Problem-Solving Style Inventory (PSSI) evaluates your typical problem-solving techniques against the four critical factors to consider when solving specific situations. Help supervisors, managers, and team leaders identify their dominant and supportive styles of decision-making and conflict resolution within their work environment using this effective training tool.

How it works

The Problem-Solving Style Inventory, self and feedback forms, provide 30 pairs of statements describing how people typically solve problems or make decisions. Scoring the participants' selections allows everyone to generate an overall problem-solving technique and decision-making style preference profile. One's sub-scores indicate the usage of each of the five problem-solving styles.

The Five Problem-Solving Styles:

  • Ego-oriented
  • We-oriented
  • Deferred
  • Other-oriented
  • I-oriented

Combining the self and feedback scores allows managers to compare their data with their team's responses. Participants learn about the different problem-solving styles, the four critical factors in choosing a style, analyze the possible overuse or underuse of each style, and design personal action plans. The self-inventory may be completed either before training or at the session. The feedback inventory should be completed and returned before the session so they can be scored and summarized.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Identify which styles you tend to use and ignore
  • Understand when and how to use different styles
  • Determine which of the five styles is most useful for your team
  • Identify the essential factors to consider when choosing a style

Uses and applications

The Problem-Solving Style Inventory illustrates the various styles available to a supervisor or manager for solving problems and making decisions. You can plot a manager's problem-solving behavior along two axes, the first being "ego-centered behavior," or the extent to which a manager attempts to solve all problems by themselves or with little help. Meanwhile, "other-centered behavior" is how a manager includes other people in the problem-solving or decision-making process.

What to order

Facilitator Guide: Order One Guide Per Trainer.

The Facilitator Guide includes background information, administrative guidelines, and a step-by-step workshop outline.

Paper Assessment 5-Pack: Order One Pack for Up to Five Participants.

The Paper Assessment is ideal for facilitators who prefer to oversee scoring and administration of the assessment. It includes pressure-sensitive forms for manual scoring.

Observer Form 5-Pack: Order One Pack for Up to Fiver Participants.

The Observer Form is designed to check the accuracy of a coach’s perception by allowing them to see how their peers perceive their style.

QuickStart Train-the-Trainer: 1-Hour Virtual Coaching Session for This Product

QST is a convenient, one-hour virtual coaching session for first-time facilitators of this product. You'll receive personalized, one-on-one coaching with a subject matter expert who will get you up to speed quickly and accurately so you can step into the onsite with confidence. We'll answer all your questions about the facilitation of the product. And you can add additional coaching hours as needed. Your coaching session can be provided by telephone or video call and at a time of your choosing.

Facilitators will also receive an HRDQ Certificate of Completion for completing the QuickStart session.

About the authors

Kenneth R. Phillips, Ph.D., is the president of Phillips Associates, a performance management and sales performance training and consulting firm. He has been helping large and small organizations achieve improved performance since 1975. A noted authority in the performance management and sales performance training arenas, Dr. Phillips is a frequent speaker for numerous regional and local ASTD and SHRM groups. He held administrative positions with two national corporations and two colleges before pursuing his Ph.D. in organizational behavior at Northwestern University. Phillips Associates has a reputation as a supplier of programs and services that make a measurable impact on productivity.

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