Problem-solving and decision-making skills

Lifeguards with equipment 

Problem-solving and decision-making skills are critical for all members of the lifeguard team. 

Decision making can be difficult, especially in an emergency. If you are in a leadership role the lifeguard team will bring problems to you and expect them to be resolved. You can improve your problem-solving skills and make informed decisions by using the FIND model. 

The FIND decision-making model can be a useful tool to make informed decisions. This can help lifeguards to clearly understand what is involved in a decision.

  • igure out the problem - identify the problem, not the symptoms of the problem.
  • dentify possible solutions - never assume there is only one way to solve a problem. Brainstorm with your lifeguard team to develop possible solutions.
  • ame pros and cons for each solution - evaluate the options. Which will work best? 
  • ecide which solution is best - select the best solution. Consider whether you need approval from your supervisor or any external organizations. Implement the solution and be sure to communicate clearly with everyone involved when the solution involves a change in policies or procedures.

It’s important to perform a follow-up evaluation. Make sure you wait long enough to give the solution a chance to work and then determine whether the problem has been solved without creating new problems. If the solution is not working as well as you had hoped, re-evaluate the problem—you might need to try an alternative solution. 


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