I find it interesting when you call your cable provider to cancel your service and they drop the price before you finish your sentence. Along the same lines, why do some managers say, “What can we do to keep you?” only after a valued employee tenders their resignation? You must ask yourself, “If they care so much, why didn’t they provide that offer earlier?” After all, problems are best addressed before they arise.
Why can folks magically fix a problem when their back is up against the wall, yet they can’t (or should I say, won’t) take steps to prevent it from becoming a problem in the first place. The fact is, if you don’t pay attention to things that matter, you’ll ultimately pay the price.
If something is important to you, act like it — or learn to live without it.
Why Wait Until It’s Too Late?
If this scenario sounds familiar, take the initiative before a problem rears its ugly head. Here are 10 principles to serve as guideposts:
Press pause. Slow down. Open your eyes and identify the things that matter to you.
Be grateful. Find ways to show your appreciation rather than taking things for granted.
Anticipate problems. Identify possible vulnerabilities. Explore what-if scenarios to uncover hidden problems.
Thwart problems before they occur. Determine your response if potential problems become a reality.
Get a reality check. Request feedback to gauge satisfaction of employees, customers, etc. Not asking is not an excuse for not knowing.
Read between the lines. Determine what’s left unsaid. A silent person says it all.
Treat all feedback seriously. Don’t discount comments because you don’t view them as important. If some folks have an issue, others may as well.
Respond to feedback. The only thing worse than not requesting feedback is not acting on it.
Make it a priority. Don’t procrastinate and let a minor annoyance become a major headache. Problems don’t get better with age.
Do what’s right. Never win at the expense of the relationship.
Address Problems Before They Arise
I’m sure there are many things that you value in your personal and professional life. If that’s the case, are you doing everything in your power to keep them? Why wait for an employee to jump ship, a customer to leave for the competition, or your mate to say it was good while it lasted? Do people have to complain or threaten you to receive proper treatment?
The handwriting is on the wall, even if you choose not to see it.
If something means a lot to you, find a way to express your gratitude before you’re forced into it. After all, you’ll make an incredible statement if you act by choice rather than be coerced. It not only shows that you care; it demonstrates that you have that person’s best interests at heart and proactively took steps to show your appreciation. As Gertrude Stein, the American novelist, poet, and playwright, said, “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” So, don’t wait for a problem to rear its ugly head. Problems are best addressed before they arise.
Have You Addressed Potential Problems?
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