The Problem With “It’s Not a Problem”

Suppose your associate has missed a deadline on the project your team has been working on relentlessly. Your boss makes a joke about an employee’s appearance. A client is making unreasonable demands from your organization. You must be frustrated or angry with these situations, but you accept them the way they are and say, “It’s not a problem.” Those things get repeated until you see yourself or your organization at a point of no return. In his article for ‘Harvard Business Review,’ James R Detert shares ways to predict such situations and deal with them.

Address It Early

When you are made aware of a situation where something is not appropriately acknowledged or is executed half-heartedly, you might feel hesitant to act against it. You might think this is a small thing to react to and might not even happen in the future. However, when a situation like this occurs, it might initiate a negative emotional response in you. If such a situation has a person or a group of people at its center, you might develop a sense of repulsion against them. It is better to acknowledge the problem and get their perspective on it rather than forming an opinion or resolving the situation at your end.

Converse Rather than Confront

Do not let your emotions empower your pragmatism and politeness when you plan to address such a situation in its nascent phase. If you maintain a calm and composed demeanor, you will be better positioned to understand the other person’s opinion. Do not bombard them with questions and expect clarifications. Talk to them humbly and let them know that their words or actions have affected you.

It is not necessary to act upon every emotional reflex. However, there could be times when you see things unfolding in a cyclical format. It is your responsibility to stand up and address it without losing your calm.

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