5 Steps To Overcome Unexpected Challenges At Work
Discover effective tips and tricks to deal with challenges in the workplace.
Any job and any office is bound to come with its own fair share of unexpected challenges and problems from time to time. When these situations present themselves, they can make the prospect of work feel unpleasant or even downright daunting. They can interfere with our productivity and morale, create uncomfortable rifts between colleagues and teams, and even leave employees feeling stressed and burnt out.
No matter the scale or nature of the situation, by using the right tactics and procedures you can steadily overcome these unexpected challenges and work towards a solution.
Examples of common problems at work
Each workplace will come with its own unique problems and challenges that are specific to the job or sector. However, there are a number of universal problems that individuals or teams tend to face in any office environment. These include:
– Personality conflicts between colleagues
– Bullying or harassment in the workplace
– Poor communication between managers and their teams
– Unfair delegation of tasks
– Impossible workloads
– Urgent project deadlines leading to burnout and stress
– Underskilled staff or lack of training
– Unproductive members of the team
– Bad working conditions
How to overcome challenges at work
1 – Take time to analyse the problem
When confronted with an unexpected problem at work it can be easy to enter a blind panic. While this response may be natural, it’s not conducive to overcoming the challenge ahead. So, first of all, do yourself a favour, and take a step back so that you can analyse the problem with a more critical eye. Take a few days to let the new scenario sink in properly, then begin to ask yourself: Is this a short-term challenge that is likely to blow over or will this potentially become intolerable in the long run if left unmanaged? Who is else is this problem affecting in the office? Can this problem lead to a new opportunity? By getting to grips with the scope of the challenge, it will be easier to plan your next course of action with a clear mind.
2 – Don’t let your emotions get in the way
An unexpected challenge or obstacle at work can make you feel anxious, afraid, or even angry. It can potentially lower your self-esteem or leave you feeling alone or singled-out in the office. However you may be feeling, it’s important to keep your emotional response under control. That’s because to deal with the situation effectively, you’ll need to remain calm and clear-headed. Over-heightened emotions tend to lead to raised hackles and unnecessary conflicts. Therefore, by taking a more objective stance towards the issue at hand, you may be able to spot solutions that would have eluded you otherwise. And remember, while it’s easy to take things personally in the office, most times perceived slights and unfairnesses are nothing more than genuine oversights or misunderstandings, which might be resolved through an open conversation.
3 – Focus on the bigger picture
When problems at work begin to take too heavy a toll on your mental and emotional wellbeing, then it may be time to look for employment elsewhere. However, if after analysing the challenge you realise the situation is manageable, then it’ll probably benefit you to put short-term pains out of mind to focus on the bigger picture. For example, are you currently being considered for a promotion? Are there any skills or experiences you still wish to gain in your job because they’ll serve you well in the next phase of your career? Should you stand more to gain in the long run, then it’s definitely worth putting up with a few uncomfortable conversations with colleagues or working those extra hours to deliver that last-minute project on time.
4 – Discuss the challenge with others
Remember that no matter how you may feel, you’re never alone at work. So, once you have a better understanding of a problematic situation, why not talk to the people around you? Maybe a colleague can help you out with a difficult project or task. Speak to management or a member of HR if there are any conflicts that need resolving or unfair workloads dumped on your table. Talking your problem through with a friend outside of work may also help give you a new perspective. Whatever you do, don’t internalise the problem and feel pressured to face it alone.
5 – Divide the problem into smaller, manageable tasks
A mountain of a problem may seem insurmountable. But when you truly analyse a problem at work, you’ll quickly realise it’s usually made up of a combination of smaller challenges or considerations. So, make a list of small steps that you can accomplish that will help you on your way to reaching a solution. Whether you need to speak to specific people, delegate tasks to ensure a project is delivered on time, or manage expectations, by dividing a problem into smaller tasks, you’ll soon find yourself halfway to overcoming the obstacle before you even know it.
For more top workplace tips and advice, check out Exacta Solutions’ Candidate Resources today.