Solve Problems with the SOCS Model

On occasion, we will all find ourselves with situations or problems where the immediate answer may not be immediately evident. When this happens, take a deep breath, grab a notepad and a pen, and work through the SOCS model.

SOCS: Situation > Options > Consequences > Solutions

Situation. Start analyzing and defining your situation. Ask yourself some simple questions: Who, What, Where, How and Why. When thinking through these questions, consider the situation from different perspectives. Dig deeper. Does the situation have a moral, ethical, or legal perspective? What about a personal, career or business perspective? Does it have a financial, emotional, or family perspective?

Options. Identify all the possible options, including the options you do not like. Remember, that to do nothing is always an option. The idea is to brainstorm all the possibilities, so do not eliminate any options at this stage.

Consequence. For each of the options you identified, consider all the consequences for each. Ensure you list all the pros and cons for each. Think through it logically and without bias.

Solutions. Review the consequences and choose the option that has more pros and less cons ensuring to rank them in terms of quality and not just quantity.

This model can be applied to many situations - whether business or personal. On a personal note, I just used the SOCS model to plan my 2017 vacation plans – it worked like a charm to identify the most logical vacation choice for this year. Otherwise, I probably would find myself spontaneously booking a 6-week indulgent trip to Africa to see the wild elephants, lions and zebras (not that I won’t do this trip at some point, it is high on my bucket list – but as I worked through the model it was quite apparent that a trip of that magnitude requires a little more planning for or the consequences financially and to my business could be devastating).

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to connect with me through LinkedIn or email at, call my office at 780-665-4957, or visit my website at FocalPoint Business Coaching


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