Managing Problems at Work (Even When You Didn’t Cause Them)

by Apr 11, 2018

The workplace can be a frustrating environment. We’ve all had days where we want to throw our hands up. We face challenges each day, and those challenges are not always caused by ourselves. In fact, they’re not always caused by anyone in particular.

Whether a problem is someone’s fault or not, its irritating to deal with problems that aren’t caused by you. That being said, it’s a reality for virtually any job or career you find yourself in. Continuing to be bothered by it won’t change anything, and in fact, will probably prevent you from doing your best at work.

Steve McKee has experienced this personally and seen it happen all around him. Typically, the more responsibility your job holds, the more likely you are to acquire issues that aren’t of your doing. However, he always remembers these six words to get him through these problems without remaining bitter: “Not my fault. Is my problem.”. His article here explains why it’s important to remember these words.

That realization — that demarcation — has paid dividends for many years now as I’ve learned to distinguish between the burden I should rightly bear when I make a mistake and the blessing I find in solving problems created by circumstances beyond my control. I learned how difficult it is to be creative when you’re discouraged (and nearly impossible when you’re depressed). If the problem I’m facing is of my own making, of course, I feel bad about it, as I should (for a time). If it’s not, however, I no longer do.

All of this is to say that if you accept that work will always have its problems, you’ll be able to move on a lot faster. The more realistic and optimistic you are, the more room in your mind there is for creativity, solutions, and job satisfaction.


Photo by on Unsplash

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