Solutions must be within the power and ability of the person to implement (p166). A common error is that people forget they can only control their own behaviour and attempt to control the behaviour of others (p166).  

Bedell and Lennox (1997) recommend that at least 3 realistic alternative solutions be formulated before deciding on one (p181), and suggest 3 methods for generating a broader list of possibilities from which the 3 realistic solutions can be chosen (p181-183):

  1. Brainstorming in which ideas are generated without censorship or evaluation;
  2. Changing the frame of reference or trying to see the problem from an alternative point of view (e.g. someone they like and respect), and
  3. Adopting a solution from a similar problem that they solved in the past

Once all the alternatives have been generated, the full list is evaluated to assess the likely  effectiveness of each in solving the problem.

Bedell and Lennox (1997) suggest 4 criteria for evaluating the full list of potential solutions and honing it down to 3 of the best (p184-185):

  1. Does it satisfy the want specified in the ‘How to’ statement?
  2. Is it sensitive to the wants of relevant others?
  3. Is it legal and socially acceptable?
  4. Is the solution within your power and ability?

Any truly effective solution will meet all four criteria so any one that does not do so should be eliminated.

The material in C3iii is drawn from Bedell and Lennox (1997) Chapter 7 unless otherwise specified.