High-stress environments at work can really shift your organization’s culture – especially if team members are seeing its effect on your leadership. From upcoming deadlines to last-minute meetings, fatigue from answering an infinite supply of emails and more, there’s a lot that can hold back your drive and effectiveness as an owner. What sets apart the most successful leaders from the ones that fall behind is the ability to be proactive instead of reactive. 

Each of these problems has its own solution, as long as you know how to approach it. Don’t let them add up until you can’t take it anymore. Everyone has their limit, and when you’re so focused on addressing too many issues at the same time, you’re bound to fail. True success comes when you slow down and think ahead.

Here are five steps to get you started:

1. Take a Moment to Yourself

We understand the need to try and jump on a problem as soon as it happens. Many business owners have developed the impulse to drop everything to try and resolve issues when they arise. There is a problem with this way of thinking, however. Reacting immediately can lead to impulse decision-making. You’re not giving yourself enough time to fully grasp the situation. As a result, your ability to find an appropriate solution may also become compromised. 

Here at Team Traction, we completely understand that there are scenarios when a critical decision needs to be made as soon as possible. Chances are, however, most problems don’t need solving right away. Before springing into action try taking a moment to yourself and think about the following four questions: 

  • What is the impact of this problem?
  • Is the impact reversible?
  • Is this truly an emergency?
  • Am I able to solve this right now without affecting my other duties? What are the externalities of dropping my other duties to solve this?
  • Am I able to delegate this task to another person? 
  • Is this issue becoming a trend?
  • What caused this issue?

You’ll find that the answers to these questions will help guide your response to the issue much more efficiently than simply attempting to solve it in the spur of the moment. And better yet – you’ll be able to set the groundwork to avoid this problem in the future. 

2. Understand Other Perspectives

Your business should never be a one-person show, and neither should problem-solving. The Entrepreneurial Operating System® teaches us that activating your teams is one of the keys to getting your organization where it needs to go. Utilize the talent you have around you to gain an understanding into other perspectives. 

Even if you have more experience, you’d be surprised by the insights that you can gather from the people around you. When you give others the chance to weigh in on how they would approach a problem, you not only show them that their opinions matter, you also come up with solutions you may not have necessarily thought of. 

3. Do Not Jump to Conclusions

Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy and fall into the reactive mindset you were striving to avoid. When needing to address a pressing issue, it’s common to go into panic mode and imagine the worst possible outcome. When you do this, you will go into fight or flight mode and have a reactive experience.

Instead of imaging the worst-case scenario, ask yourself:

  1. What is the most likely outcome?
  2. What is the probability of the worst-case outcome?
  3. Could I reverse the worst-case outcome if needed?

Avoid dedicating too much time and energy and too many resources to low-probability outcomes in the moment. Instead, think about how you can protect against that outcome in the future, giving yourself time to set up reasonable safeguards.

4. Learn From It

We tell every one of our clients this from the start – We’re ready to guide you forward through discipline, preparation, accountability, and impactful actions. That same approach needs to be applied to problem solving. If you’ve handled a situation poorly, acknowledge what went wrong and learn from it. 

Part of being proactive is understanding what happened in the past, and finding ways to make sure it doesn’t happen again. There’s no use in making the same mistakes over and over, after all. The next time something goes wrong, take a moment to understand the why that made it happen. And if you were able to find the solution you were looking for in the nick of time, turn it into a teaching opportunity and share it with the rest of your team. 

Choose Team Traction

Getting the growth you’ve been striving for is not only possible, it’s within reach. Adopting Team Traction’s Entrepreneurial Operating System has the potential to turn your business into the profitable, driven organization you want it to be. We take pride in guiding our business owner clients in overcoming these challenges and more. It all starts with a conversation. Call us at (850) 473-1100 or click here for our contact page.