Attending my daughter’s parent teacher conference this morning prompted one of those “ah hah!” moments. Mrs. Rempert, my daughter’s math teacher, was explaining how challenging it is for many 9 year-olds to grasp this multi-step problem-solving approach:
1. Read all directions thoroughly.
2. Break down the problem into small steps.
3. Identify ways that each step is connected.
4. Take notes.
5. Develop your answer.
6. Double check your work.
It immediately occurred to me how many times I’ve witnessed the smartest business people ignoring these simple steps due to the pressures of our multi-tasking, deadline-driven lives.
So next time you’re in a rush, take a lesson from a third grader—slow down, examine the problem, take time to come up with a solution, ask others for their opinions. You’ll be glad you did.