Dealing With Difficult Situations in Your Business

Sooner or later, all businesses face problems. How to deal with them is the key to the success of our organization.

Dealing With Difficult Situations in Your Business

Did you realize that the average Westerner spends around 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime? That’s enough time to play more than 15000 games of football or 23 World Cups! It’s certainly more than sufficient time for one or two sticky situations to arise, whether that’s related to conduct, performance, or security issues.

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As with most issues and problems, the key to dealing with them effectively is, first, to acknowledge there’s a problem and secondly ensure you have the right processes in place to both deal with them in the future, and ensure you mitigate the risk of them happening again.

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1. Avoidance is best

Of course, prevention is always better than a cure, and avoiding problems in the workplace will save everyone's time, energy, and resource in the long run. However, if it were as easy as just telling your staff to stop causing problems, life would be very simple indeed, and unfortunately, as many of us know first hand, it isn’t like that.

Corporate security is one area where things can go seriously wrong, very quickly. Dealing with the sheer number of risks involved can be overwhelming; new technologies, increased information, and multiple security systems often create a data overload. Situational Awareness is one way of ensuring everyone in your operational chain knows what to do in the event of a problem. It reduces the risk of human error and unifies the subsequent reporting process.

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2. What does that guidebook say?

Despite all the evasive actions that you might take, the ugly head of a difficult situation may still rise up. Fortunately, there are certain hard situations that are fairly easy to deal with: with gross misconduct, for instance, you can easily refer to company policy for guidance on such matters. Other situations, however, such as a crash in the market, require a more subjective approach. Here, you need to weigh up all the details that you have to handle to make an informed decision on the requisite action.

3. Take decisive action

Aside from perhaps losing control of your physical faculties in a business meeting, there are few things in the workplace that will damage your reputation more than being indecisive. It’s often said that a rule of business is that if you make your bed then you have to lie in it, even if your bed is rather uninviting. With that in mind, it is important that once you’ve weighed up all the information you have at your disposal about the difficult situation in which you find your business, you act - swiftly and decisively.

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Or take no action at allOn the other hand, if no clear solution to your problem appears from the information that you have at hand, then you may want to sit tight and see if the situation just blows over. Sometimes, it is far wiser to risk appearing inept by taking no action at all rather than removing all doubt by taking counterproductive action; after all, you don’t want to make a huge error and be remembered as the person who turned down the Beatles or who changed the Coca Cola formula.

This article was written by a freelance writer and mother of three, Kathryn Thompson.

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