5 Proven Strategies for Overcoming Difficult Issues at the Office
There will always be workplace problems, whether you are trying to navigate tricky conversations or helping employees resolve conflict. Your ability to handle these challenges will determine the atmosphere in your office. Your office will be a place where you and your colleagues can communicate freely and collaborate without being hampered by fear. Every workplace is made up of imperfect people who have good intentions but still struggle or fail to achieve their goals. There will be mistakes, people will make errors, and there might be hurt feelings. A plan for how to respond to these situations and minimize the consequences will help you create a positive work environment.
Try one of these five tried and true strategies when you are facing difficult times.
1. Practice Patience
When faced with difficult situations, such as a client who is unhappy or an employee who is disgruntled, a good rule of thumb is to just breathe and listen. If you make the situation feel more human, it is likely that the situation will settle on its own. Everyone longs for understanding and appreciation. If you give people around you the space to vent their anger and frustrations, even if they’re unfounded, you feed that side of you that wants to be heard and appreciated. After they have finished speaking, take a moment to regroup your thoughts. Then, calmly repeat what they said and work together to find a solution that works both for you and them.
2. Grow in Gratitude
You may be amazed at the positive changes in attitudes and behavior that can be achieved by cultivating an office culture of thankfulness. You can help your employees feel valued by recognizing their successes and reminding them of how much you appreciate them. This will create a sense of excitement and congeniality that acts as a shield against any minor inconveniences or irritations that may arise.
3. Take the plunge
It can be tempting to ignore conflict, especially if it is something you dislike. However, it is essential to set a good example for others in your company. Don’t pretend that there are no problems; confront them. You will feel more resentment and frustration the longer you let them simmer.
Disgruntled employees and clients who feel neglected or ignored can quickly become disgruntled individuals, voicing their frustrations to others. This can lead to a fog of bitterness, backbiting, and a decrease in productivity that can hinder work/life harmony. It is best to address issues as soon as they are identified. Do not allow them to grow into something uncomfortable. If necessary, have a difficult conversation and get to the bottom as quickly as possible.
4. Make a Positivity Sandwich
This method has been used by coaches and teachers for many decades. It is simple and takes little practice. First, identify the problem or behavior you want to bring to their attention. Next, you create the sandwich by finding something positive to say prior to the difficult thing and something else to say immediately after the difficult part.
You might choose to start a conversation with an employee if you have to discipline them for being late to work. Next, you could discuss how important it is for them to be punctual. You could thank them for being valuable members of your team after the conversation. People are generally eager to please and will often respond positively to such requests. You are still engaged in the complex but necessary correction. However, you are still pointing out the greatness of that individual and affirming their value to your company.
5. Pinpoint People
Every person has their own perspective and personality. Understanding others helps you to anticipate and improve your ability to respond positively to different situations. You will be able to tell if your employee is extraordinarily analytical and can process information slow and methodically so that you don’t ask them to lead projects that are spontaneous and unstructured.
You can foster a culture of positivity and collaboration by setting people up for success or playing to your strengths. You might ask your team to take a personality test and then compile the results for everyone. You will have a better chance of managing conflicts if everyone is well-equipped to work together.
Start the week by reviewing the personalities of your team members and developing action plans to capitalize on their strengths.
When I coach my clients one-on-one, many simple but effective resources are created. When a client has a problem or situation, I help them create a resource tool. My client, a business owner, wanted to hold his support staff more accountable, so I created a performance evaluation tool. This tool allows for regular communication between each member of the team about their performance and what they are responsible for doing. This helps team members feel better about their performance, and the business owner feels more confident about the work being done and the level of performance. This practical and straightforward assessment of performance for each member of your team will be a benefit to you, as well as my clients. It can be customized for each member of your team according to their job description. Each member of the team should make it their own, and you must approve it. Each area that you are measuring is worth reviewing at least once every 90 days.