We tend to forget that every problem is attached to a person…a human being with feelings that matter to us (or would matter if we knew them better). There just aren’t any problems or obstacles that stand alone or apart from other people. There are customers, co-workers, family members, vendors, bosses, subordinates, civil servants, and just plain observers.
I have a friend who owns his own business and said that a member of his team “throws a grenade at every problem he encounters”. The problem may be relocated, but people are harmed in the process. And, more often than not, the problem re-appears further down the road.
So, my friend pulled his employee aside and re-defined the process to solve every problem:
- Begin by doing everything you can to protect the relationship. People matter more than the problem you are now facing.
- If it’s possible, you should invest in strengthening the relationship in the course of addressing the problem. Show that you care…add value to their lives…give back more than you take.
- After you finish protecting (and investing in) the relationship, you will find it’s easy to fix the problems. Most of the time, they will already be solved.
Sounds like a good template for the rest of us too…don’t you think?
Thanks for listening.