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Hard on Problems – Not on People

Why don’t we deal with problems (gaps) in business?

If you see a member of your team doing something that is not to standard (or something that gives you the S#!t$) – and you choose to not address it; what are you inadvertently giving them? Permission to continue doing it…Right?

It often appears easier (less painful) to not address something and put up with the gap than it does to confront it – AKA ‘Avoid-Avoid Conflict’ where we are in conflict about which pain to avoid most!

But why do we avoid closing these gaps? It will likely be due to the reason we believe the gap exists.

Think of a reoccurring gap then tick the reason/s you felt it happened

  1. They didn’t care enough
  2. They didn’t listen
  3. They were lazy
  4. They weren’t too bright

If you ticked any of those, then that would be the reason you left the gap unaddressed. All those reasons state (or imply) that the person is the reason for the gap – and because the vast majority of us don’t like upsetting people, we choose to let it slide and then instead, bleat about it to others.

Here’s a solution. Change your focus from the person being problem, to the problem being the problem. The surest way to change the focus is to consider other (more likely) reasons the gaps exists. Use these as alternatives to the above 4

  1. We didn’t make it important enough
  2. We lead with answers, not with questions (we did all the talking)
  3. We gave them permission to be lazy (we didn’t question it the first time)
  4. We didn’t give them sufficient training or, we cut corners when recruiting

The obvious benefit of this focus is that you tackle the gap from both ends – yours and theirs. But perhaps less obvious is that this focus not only helps you close the gap for this person, it will inevitably help you find solutions that will benefit other / future team members from falling into the same gap.

Work to fix gaps – Not people

Yours in prosperity and fun

Jeff Austin

Actual to Ideal

Business Coach Bunbury

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