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## Sudoku for Beginners: How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

Are you a beginner when it comes to solving Sudoku puzzles? Do you find yourself frustrated and unsure of where to start? Fear not, as we have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to improve your problem-solving skills through Sudoku.

## Understanding the Basics of Sudoku

Before we dive into the strategies and techniques, let’s first understand the basics of Sudoku. A Sudoku puzzle is a 9×9 grid that is divided into nine smaller 3×3 grids. The objective is to fill in each row, column, and smaller grid with numbers 1-9 without repeating any numbers.

## Starting Strategies for Beginners

As a beginner, it can be overwhelming to look at an empty Sudoku grid. But don’t worry. There are simple starting strategies that can help you get started. First, look for any rows or columns that only have one missing number. Fill in that number and move on to the next row or column with only one missing number. Another strategy is looking for any smaller grids with only one missing number and filling in that number.

## Advanced Strategies for Beginner/Intermediate Level

Once you’ve mastered the starting strategies, it’s time to move on to more advanced techniques. One technique is called “pencil marking.” This involves writing down all possible numbers in each empty square before making any moves. Then use logic and elimination techniques to cross off impossible numbers until you are left with the correct answer.

Another advanced technique is “hidden pairs.” Look for two squares within a row or column that only have two possible numbers left. If those two possible numbers exist in both squares, then those two squares must contain those specific numbers.

## Benefits of Solving Sudoku Puzzles

Not only is solving Sudoku puzzles fun and challenging, but it also has many benefits for your brain health. It helps improve your problem-solving skills, enhances memory and concentration, and reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

In conclusion, Sudoku is a great way to improve your problem-solving skills while also providing entertainment. With these starting and advanced strategies, you’ll be able to solve even the toughest Sudoku puzzles. So grab a pencil and paper and start sharpening those brain muscles.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.

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## The Two Traits of the Best Problem-Solving Teams

• Alison Reynolds
• David Lewis

You need both diversity and safety.

An analysis of 150 senior teams showed that the ones who solve problems the fastest tend to be cognitively diverse. But this isn’t always true — sometimes, those teams still struggle. So what separates the best teams from the rest? It turns out that it’s a combination of cognitive diversity and psychological safety. Teams high in both traits show curious and encouraging behavior, and also the level of forcefulness and experimentation needed to keep their momentum. Teams low in either trait were either too combative (if they were high in cognitive diversity and low in psychological safety) or too prone to group-think (if the reverse was true).

Imagine you are a fly on the wall in a corporate training center where a management team of 12 is participating in a session on executing strategy. The team is midway through attempting to solve a new, uncertain, and complex problem. The facilitators look on as at first the exercise follows its usual path. But then activity grinds to a halt — people have no idea what to do. Suddenly, a more junior member of the team raises her hand and exclaims, “I think I know what we should do!” Relieved, the team follows her instructions enthusiastically. There is no doubt she has the answer — but as she directs her colleagues, she makes one mistake and the activity breaks down. Not a word is spoken but the entire group exude disappointment. Her confidence evaporates. Even though she has clearly learnt something important, she does not contribute again. The group gives up.

• AR Alison Reynolds  is a member of faculty at the UK’s Ashridge Business School where she works with executive groups in the field of leadership development, strategy execution and organization development. She has previously worked in the public sector and management consulting, and is an advisor to a number of small businesses and charities.
• DL David Lewis  is Director of London Business School’s Senior Executive Programme and teaches on strategy execution and leading in uncertainty. He is a consultant and works with global corporations, advising and coaching board teams.  He is co-founder of a research company focusing on developing tools to enhance individual, team and organization performance through better interaction.

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## The Top 10 Characteristics of Problem Solvers

September 24th, 2017

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be natural born problem solvers? Look closer, and you’ll discover that problem solving is more a skill than a gift. Effective problem solvers share ten common characteristics.

## 1. They have an “attitude”!

Simply expressed, effective problem solvers invariably see problems as opportunities, a chance to learn something new, to grow, to succeed where others have failed, or to prove that “it can be done”.  Underlying these attitudes is a deeply held conviction that, with adequate preparation, the right answer will come.

## 2. They re-define the problem.

Problem solving is a primary consulting skill. Seasoned consultants know that, very often, the initial definition of the problem (by the client) is incorrect or incomplete. They learn to discount statements such as, “Obviously, the problem is that …” and follow their own leadings, but…

## 3. They have a system.

Perhaps the most common model is the old consulting acronym: DACR/S in which the letters stand for Describe, Analyze, Conclude, and Recommend/Solve. As with many formulas, its usefulness stems from the step-by-step approach it represents. Effective problem solvers take the steps in order and apply them literally. For example, in describing the problem (the first step), they strenuously avoid making premature judgments or ruling out possibilities. In analyzing the information, they are careful that their own prejudices do not interfere. In developing conclusions, they are aware of the need to test them thoroughly. Finally, most astute problem solvers recognize that there is almost always more than one solution, so they develop several alternatives from which to choose.

## 4. They avoid the experience trap.

The world is becoming increasingly non-linear. Things happen in pairs, triads, and groups and often don’t follow traditional lines from past to present and cause to effect. In such an environment, where synchronicity and simultaneity rather than linearity prevails, past experience must be taken with a grain of salt. Seasoned problem solvers know the pitfalls of relying on what worked in the past as a guide to what will work in the future. They learn to expect the unexpected, illogical, and non-linear.

## 5. They consider every position as though it were their own.

For effective problem solvers, standing in the other person’s shoes is more than a cute saying. It’s a fundamental way of looking at the problem from every perspective. This ability to shift perspectives quickly and easily is a key characteristic of effective problem solvers. As one especially capable consultant put it, “I take the other fellow’s position, and then I expand upon it until I understand it better than he does”.

## 6. They recognize conflict as often a prerequisite to solution.

When the stakes are high in a problem situation, the parties are often reluctant to show their hands and cautious about giving away too much. In such instances, managed conflict can be an effective tool for flushing out the real facts of a situation.

## 7. They listen to their intuition.

Somewhere during the latter stages of the fact-finding (description) process, effective problem solvers experience what can best be called, “inklings”-gut-level feelings about the situation. When this happens, they listen, hypothesize, test and re-test. They realize that, while intuition may be partially innate, effective intuition is overwhelmingly a developed faculty-and they work to develop it!

## 8. They invariably go beyond “solving the problem”.

On a time scale, just solving the problem at hand brings you to the present, to a point you might call, ground-zero. Truly effective problem solvers push further. They go beyond simply solving the problem to discover the underlying opportunities that often lie concealed within the intricacies of the situation. Implicit in this approach is the premise that every problem is an opportunity in disguise.

## 9. They seek permanent solutions.

Permanent, as opposed to band-aid solutions, has two characteristics: (1) they address all aspects of the problem, and (2) they are win/win in that they offer acceptable benefits to all parties involved.  Symptomatic problem solving, like bad surgery or dentistry, leaves part of the decay untouched, with the result that, over time, it festers and erupts.  Just for the record, a permanent solution is one that STAYS solved and doesn’t come back to bite you.

## 10. They gain agreement and commitment from the parties involved.

It’s easy, in the heady rush of finding “the answer” to a problem, to fail to gain agreement and commitment on the part of everyone involved. For effective problem solvers, just “going along” via tacit agreement isn’t enough. There must be explicit statements from all parties that they concur and are willing to commit to the solution. Agreement and concurrence really constitute a third characteristic of the “permanent” solution discussed above, but they are so often ignored that it is important that they be viewed separately.

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• The Two Traits of the Best Problem-Solving Teams

Alison Reynolds and David Lewis, April 2018

In an earlier article, “Teams Solve Problems Faster When They’re More Cognitively Diverse,” we reported our research findings that teams with high levels of cognitive diversity performed better on these kinds of challenges. In these groups, we observed a blend of different problem-solving behaviors, like collaboration, identifying problems, applying information, maintaining discipline, breaking rules, and inventing new approaches. These techniques combined were more effective than in groups where there were too many rule-breakers, or too many discipline-maintainers, for example.

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## 7 Advantages of Team Problem-Solving

--> Team Performance ,--> Teaming ,--> Problem Solving -->