1. Is this something I definitely need to address for the betterment of the people and businesses involved? Sometimes as a result of ego, anger, fear or annoyance when we finally decide we are going to address a problem in business, our handling of it becomes more dramatic than a reality television episode. This is not necessary. Really take a moment to search yourself and be sure about your intentions. If your reasoning is right then chances are your delivery will be also.
2. Have I accurately framed the problem by asking clarifying questions in order to fully understand the situation and have I thought about (or provided) solutions? Business has a culture of confidence so in a rush to get things done and over with because we feel we already know the answers, sometimes we are operating with incomplete information. It’s important to start a conversation by asking questions, which means you are listening; rather than assuming you know everything. One of the best axioms that will always lead to clarity and calmness in any situation is: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Or if you are being asked to answer for a mistake you have made or something you need to correct be sure to respond with complete information. People can handle shortcomings and mistakes but they need to know when and how you plan to fix them so give them the courtesy and confidence of providing that information upfront.
3. How did I contribute to the problem or what can I learn from it? Almost anyone can be successful in business if they learn quickly from mistakes and figure out how to not repeat them. Through every troubling experience figure out what you said or did that led to that unwanted outcome so you don’t repeat the same patterns. Also, asking yourself these questions ensures that you have addressed issues from the root cause and can truly move on.
Felicia Joy is a nationally recognized entrepreneur who created $50 million in value for the various organizations and companies she served in corporate America before launching her business enterprise. She is the author of Hybrid Entrepreneurship: How the Middle Class Can Beat the Slow Economy, Earn Extra Income and Reclaim the American Dream. She is the small business and entrepreneurship columnist for BlackEnterprise.com and a contributor on CNN. Follow her at www.twitter.com/feliciajoy.
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