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By Michael Angier

Handling Problems is Our Job

It's all in how you hold it.

I once had a secretary/receptionist who complained that she was always being interrupted with the telephone and constantly bothered by the rest of the staff asking her questions. She was frustrated she couldn't get more of her work done.

We pointed out that interruptions were her job. She looked bewildered for several moments and then brightened up. The idea of the interruptions being her job had never occurred to her before. It was an entirely different perspective for her, and she never again complained. She became more productive and enjoyed her job more than ever.

I've had the same issue with my own attitude toward problems. Perhaps you have as well. It's a rare individual who welcomes problems. We weary of having to put out fires and handle difficult workers or customers. 

And yet, handling problems is our job. Whether we manage others or serve customers, we're constantly called upon to solve problems. In fact, if there weren't problems, there would be no need for us. As our society becomes more automated, we become less and less necessary to handle the redundant tasks. What we will be needed for even more will be to deal with problems that arise.

Please don't take this idea lightly. This is not just a simplistic, overly optimistic view of things. You may even want to reframe the word problem by calling it a "challenge." If you really embrace it as a new way to view problems, you'll find yourself being more productive and feel less frustration. You'll have a better attitude.

And with that, there's no telling what you can accomplish.


Note: Our New Priorities™ Tool is a great way to evaluate and prioritize your problems/opportunities—as well as your projects, goals and purchases.






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Last Updated 01/30/2004