Don’t Make These Mistakes When Dealing With Problems

by Anthony Demangone

As managers, we deal with problems.  At least we’re supposed to.

Dan Rockwell wrote a wonderful piece about the common mistakes we make when dealing with problems.

I’ll leave you to read the piece for yourself, but here’s a few parts that caught my eye.

A few bad approaches to problems?

Chicken approach: Brooding. Let’s sit on these eggs until something ugly hatches.

Squirrel on Steroids approach: Trying harder and harder without adapting.

And Dan gives great advice. Before you attack the problem, dig in to really find out what happened.  I can’t count the number of times I thought I knew what was going on, until I spoke to everyone involved. More often than not, my understand of what happened was wrong.  Or superficial at best. 

Regarding the “squirrel on steroids” issue, I could not agree more.  Often, we focus on working harder to solve problems, rather than working smarter.  Case in point, how would you get people to take the stairs more in a subway station?  Signs?  Public radio spots?  Perhaps.

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