Hey! Have you got at least one problem or dilemma to solve today? If you do, we have 2 techniques that you might find useful! The first is deconstruction and if you SCROLL DOWN further you will find another tool called the S.W.O.T. analysis.
Deconstruction is a BIG word but we can use the term “unpacking” in its place. In simple terms this means taking apart or splitting up a problem into bite size pieces and further into small steps. This way you can solve pieces of a problem, one piece at a time and move forward towards a solution…. Some questions might include: Is making a list helpful? Who can you ask to help? What resources are available? What time is available? Is a replacement possible? What could be an option? What could be Plan B? How can you gain or manage the time available?
It is easy to try out the technique of problem solving through deconstruction. As an example and to do some group work together you can use images from the world of advertising as an example. Deconstructing such images means taking apart the various parts of the image, discussing why they are there and their impact. There is a reason of course! For example…..ever wondered why many adverts contain the word “Limited Offer” or “Hurry, offer valid until stocks last”? Such messages rely on one element of persuasion which gets us thinking that an item is limited, running out fast and we need to act quickly! Images give out very powerful messages and deconstruction can help us see why! We’ve included some questions next to an advertising image to get you going!
What element of persuasion is being used in the image on the left?
Who is the target shopper for this advert?
What is “new” about the prices? Why should you “love” prices?
How is colour being used to attract attention?
What lifestyle is being promoted here?
We’ve include some famous advertisements and a worksheet below that you can use during a youth session or class discussion to practice deconstructing media images, the message behind them and why they work. You can use images from old magazines to avoid print-outs. You can work in groups to “deconstruct” or unpack each image and explore together why advertising can be effective.
Once you get the technique right, you can apply the same strategy to deconstruct or problem solve everyday issues that you might meet … the strategy is the same! Unpacking and breaking down into bite-size pieces!! Enjoy!
Another Problem Solving Technique
Another tool and a type of analysis to problem-solve is the S.W.O.T. technique. It is a way to plan strategically and helps develop an understanding of present circumstances. It serves to plan the way forward based on what Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats are present at the moment. S W.O.T. analysis is used by companies to assess their current position and better understand their business ventures but it is also useful in youth groups and in schools while doing group work.
Here below is a short presentation to explain the various steps to perform a SWOT analysis. Try it out individually or in a group to brainstorm, plan ahead and problem-solve!