Every manager or front-line employee in business today has to deal with challenging issues and situations.
These might take the form of a member complaint, a co-worker behaving badly, staff calling in sick, or organizational changes.
It doesn’t matter. These aren’t fun to deal with.
These situations—I call them “monsters”—can seem bigger than life, and they can make a mess of your team.
Monsters can be found around every corner and will hinder healthy growth, forward momentum, and goal achievement.
Making needed changes starts with how we view the monster—realigning the way we think about obstacles and challenges.
But if you fight back, they’ll find a new home where life is easier.
Consider these five concepts when dealing with difficult situations:
1. Address the problem now. Monsters thrive when the situation gets messy and you’re frazzled.
There’s no time like the present to address issues head-on.
2. Deliver your message directly. People don’t have to like you to respect you.
Focus on the big picture and build an environment where your team feels good about serving your members.
3. Approach with optimism. Challenging situations seem overwhelming at times. '
It’s easy to feel defeated, but there’s only one way to win: Build a systematic plan, stick to it, and move forward one step at a time.
4. Act with conviction. Stay the course.
Do what’s right for your credit union and your membership and don’t back down.
5. Seek assistance. Many of us worry our managers, members, or colleagues might find out we don’t know how to handle some issues.
But it’s OK to ask for help. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Monsters come in many shapes and sizes, but our thoughts will make us run from the challenge or stand up to face it. Look the problem in the eye and make things right.
Our willingness to change how we think about workplace issues will be a catalyst to equipping ourselves with the knowledge, know-how, skills, and techniques to resolve situations to our liking.
With this new confidence, tackling a challenging situation will end up being just another thing to cross off on our “to-do” list.
This article initially appeared in Credit Union Front Line newsletter, the monthly sales and service newsletter for branch staff and their managers. Subscribe now to the print edition or PDF version.