Problem Solving and Decision Making, Reprise

There is no such verb as “to problem-solve.”

Bad Example:
I think we need to set up a meeting to problem-solve.

The correct verb is “to solve problems.”
Corrected Examples:
I think we need to set up a meeting to solve these problems.
I think we need to set up a meeting to solve this problem. (if there is only
one)

There is, however, a hyphenated compound adjective called “problem-solving.”
Example:
His problem-solving skills are better than most of the other engineers on my team.
Here, problem-solving is an adjective describing which skills we are talking about.

“Decision-making” could be substituted for “problem-solving” in this construction.
His decision-making skills are better than most of the other engineers on my team.

But you would never say:
I think we need to set up a meeting to decision-make.
Noooooo, you would use the correct verb “to make decisions.”
It’s the same thing with “to solve problems.”

Now, both “decision-making” and “problem-solving” are only hyphenated when used as an
adjective, not as a noun, in which case the compound gerund would be two separate words.

Examples:
Decision making has always been a problem for him.
Problem solving has always been a challenge for her.

Now, then, I think we’ve solved that problem.

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