It’s another beautiful morning, you are running through your work day just like any other and BOOM out of nowhere a BIG problem appears onto your desk.
It could be an angry client, a cancelled contract, loss of a large deal, dismal results from the recent campaign, resignation of a valuable team member, being denied a promotion, an unexpected cut in budgets, a damaging article in the media, a project being taken away from you…
What do you do?
If you are like most people, you will first refuse to acknowledge the problem and continue in denial for a few moments, maybe hours or days.
The problem doesn’t go away, it just gets BIGGER.
Then you spend more time lamenting, wondering why, cursing, looking for sympathy and support like everyone else would.
…while the problem continues to grow BIGGER.
Then you might cry, then you get desperate knowing you have your back to the wall on this one, you get scared and you freeze, you just dont want to think about it…
Sadly the problem doesn’t wait, it continues to grow BIGGER.
Has this ever happened to you?
Problems need solutions.
Yes, solutions not sympathy.
“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.” ~ Edwin Louis Cole
Here are 12 steps you can take to handle problems effectively:
1. Acknowledge there is a problem, don’t be in denial
2. Understand the problem, define it as clearly as you can
3. Work to gather facts, assumptions will make the problem even BIGGER
4. Document data as you work, your stressed mind wont remember specifics
5. Accept internally that you could have made a mistake, don’t start looking for scapegoats
6. Take responsibility if you are indeed the cause for the problem, integrity matters
7. Use your energy to first solve the problem, blame game can wait
8. Evaluate your options on what can be done next
9. Reach out, seek help, two minds are better than one
10. Stop beating yourself up, use your energy to move ahead
11. Remember, you are human, nobody gets it right every time
12. Document your learnings and don’t let the same problem get you down twice