When dealing with an issue or a crisis, we see so many people trying to fix the obvious on the surface, rather than digging deeper to see what is the actual root cause.
Symptoms stand out like a sore thumb, like a runny nose when we have the flu. But the real questions, that are hardly ever asked, should be what were the underlying factors that led our immune system to be susceptible to the flu and why weren’t we more proactive in preventing these factors?
This is no different to the workplace, where issues and crisis’s are all preventable with effective strategies, planning and systems to monitor our projects, people, competitors and performance.
In saying that, it is impossible to prevent every issue and crisis, therefore we need to have really good systems to ensure that we fix the problem right the first time.
When dealing with an issue, people find it much easier to apply a band-aid and give a little bit of tender loving care, rather than spending some extra time to understand why it actually happened, ask the tough questions and identify whether it can be prevented in the future.
Why are humans prone to the ‘path of least resistance’?
Why are we so susceptible to the easy way out or way of doing things?
I find it really frustrated when I hear ‘let’s put that decision or project on hold until we have more time, more money, the perfect design or most frustratingly, a new hire arrives’.
Hesitation is the difference between winning and losing in most sports, and it is exactly the same in business. If you wait, someone else will get to the market first and therefore be in the prime position to control the market, or more importantly you risk becoming irrelevant.
Solutions can sometimes be the most simple and obvious that are right there in front of us, whereas other times there is no clarity or even a potential path to get us started.
As leaders we need to be able to step back and take a birds eye perspective, then firstly, allow our teams the space to see the obvious (if the root cause and solution are right there in front of us) and secondly, dig deeper until they can get to the bottom of their nagging pain in the butt.
People have a habit of dancing around the tough questions, as though they are afraid to offend someone or unravel a large mistake they or the team may have caused.
How can you create an environment where your team is encouraged to ask the right questions?
It is commonplace for issues to be lingering in the workplace, partnership and with our products or services.
Why is it so hard to put your pride, integrity, record and relationships on the line and front the big elephant in the room?
Nine times out of ten it comes down to ‘trust’. One hundred present of time, the level of trust is a direct result of the environment established by the leader.
Trust, that our team feel they are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them, and that people can ask the right questions when they don’t understand, believe there might be a better way or there are some barriers preventing a greater performance.
Let’s ‘rip the band-aid off’ and create an environment of learning, growth and most importantly trust in our teams.
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