I have been working for over five decades now and have decided to share some thoughts on problem resolution in the workplace (or in life in general). There seems to be a need these days🙂
The most successful and effective people I have known are the ones who recognize an issue, give it some serious consideration, and deal with it.
There are several ineffective ways to deal with an issue and I am pretty sure I have seen them all.
1. Blame someone else – This does nothing to address the issue and abdicates any power one has to deal with the issue. If you are absolutely responsible for causing an issue and you try to blame others, it will be obvious. 😐
2. Make excuses – Nobody cares and it does not resolve the issue. You may have to explain how the issue arose but that must be followed by a resolution or at least a commitment to find a resolution to the issue. 👍
3. Ignore the issue and expect it to go away. If it is your issue to address, it will not go away. It certainly will not go away without causing further damage. If there is truly nothing you can do to address an issue, you can still choose an effective way to react to it. 🙂
4. Allowing yourself to be the helpless victim. It is all there. Victims are helpless. Even if you were totally innocent and have been hurt deliberately in the worst possible way by someone, do not allow yourself to be victimized. Even if the only thing you can do is work on resolving your own pain and suffering, do that. If you wait for someone else to resolve a situation or repair the damage it has done to you, it will never happen.
Acting the helpless victim at work is particularly non-helpful. Employers, employees, co-workers, customers, suppliers and other business contacts are looking for you to be competent and effective. If you are looking to succeed in your position, that is the face you need to show. 🙂
5. Lie, cheat or steal. Any negative response to an issue is not going to have a positive result – ever! 🙁
6. Act oblivious and clueless. Seriously, is that how you want people to see you? If you want to be treated as a professional, act like one. 🤔
7. Scream, swear, throw things, kick things. None are mature. None are helpful. None are professional. 🤯
8. Avoid the issue. If there is work to be done, or an issue to be addressed just do it. This is not the time to take a week off.
One final thought. Accept that some situations are hopeless. If there are ongoing issues that you do not have the power or authority to deal with, work towards a viable exit plan. There are options but think them through and ensure you are not leaving one bad situation for another.
2 thoughts on “Own It”
It is very interesting to translate these points to conflicts in the personal sphere, where one does not have the constraint of needing to be professional – but where the consequences of our actions are even more significant, if home is where we live our true lives. I also imagined the comedic and dramatic value in fiction of one person trying all these strategies! Thank you.
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I didn’t think about it when I was writing this but my first husband used all of these ineffective strategies on a regular basis. I finally gave up, took our three teenagers and left. A few years later, I married a really good man who, twenty years later, is still my very appreciated husband.
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