Often times in the workplace, we encounter a variety of situations that make us uncomfortable. These situations allow for our productivity levels to lower and ultimately affect our overall mood. Learning to deal with these situations could potentially increase our value to our company and those around us. Waiting until it’s too late is not the effective decision when dealing with issues such as conflict. Often times by putting tasks off, damaging events can occur that could be life changing.
For example, nearly a year ago while working at a printing company, one of the customer representatives kept complaining about pain in her shoulder/arm pit. She said that the pain had increased gradually and that she had waited for a significant amount of time to address the problem. The pain was now unbearable. Her supervisors and team members ordered her to leave work to seek medical attention. And that was the last day she was at work. After an examination, a series of cancerous cells were discovered in that general area. And nearly seven months later, she died at the age of 37.
While not all problems will end so tragically, it is important to tackle problems as they occur. By waiting for time to pass, most situations only remain stressful or perhaps become worse. In a work environment often times poor communication is one of these significant problems. Communication is essential in a work environment. Most often, people are organized in order to complete tasks while depending on the other to finish theirs in a progressive series. By keeping the communication lines open, overall success for all involved can be expected.
Preventative training and consulting could be an effective way to err this decision-making process from occurring or continuing in many cases. By bringing issues to light as they occur, the stress involved with these situations at work can allow someone to be more productive. This allows for everyone involved working together more effectively and allows for a more positive work environment.
However, this idea could be examined in a different context. For example, recently a professional friend referred her colleague to me who was in “workplace pain.” By the tone of her email, I was immediately alerted to the fact that she was having serious communication and conflict problems. These problems required immediate attention. I discovered that her manager had let the problem continue for a while and after the fact decided to have it solved. However, this could have easily been preventable.
This behavior is quite typical with people and organizations – – they reach out when they are in pain, and often it is easier to work at preventing problems rather than dealing with them. Many feel that they are too serious, too difficult to fix or costly, or worse, sometimes irreversible. This attitude is the first change that needs to be made. Once a positive attitude is established to confront these problems, then these situations can be gradually dealt with in a more work productive manner.
By taking time to evaluate these problems, prevention will help the overall morale of all of those involved. Stress causes lower productivity levels and ultimately negative moods. Positivity will seep through all those involved. Going to work will no longer be a burden; life will much easier to deal with.