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How to Solve Almost Any Problem by Alan Barker

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Chapter 11

Towards collaboration: solving problems with other people

Solving problems is tricky enough when we’re working on our own. It can become even more difficult if we’re trying to solve a problem with other people.

This chapter won’t be a lengthy discussion about all the interpersonal skills involved in working in groups. (If you’d like to discover more about these skills, my book How to Manage Meetings includes a chapter on how groups work.) Instead, we’ll explore here how to use the problem-solving tools and techniques we’ve already discovered to collaborate with others.

Collaborative problem-solving must begin and end with decisions about who owns the problem. The key questions, in order, are:

  1. Who owns the problem?
  2. Who else is ...

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