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Tackling the Problem, Not the Person

Tackling the Problem, Not the Person


Sometimes people mess up at work.


Tackle the Problem

If the person who messed up reports to us, sometimes their mess becomes our mess. And not only do we have to clean up the mess, we have to deal with the person.


We may think the person doesn’t care enough. Unmotivated.


Or maybe they’re not able to do the job. Incompetent.


But when someone messes up, it’s usually not due to lack of motivation or competence. It’s usually because they:

  1. Don’t know how to do something (or)

  2. Don’t know a project or deadline is important.

And those problems are fixable. When someone doesn’t know how to do something, that’s a training problem. A good manager can fix that.


When someone doesn’t know a project or deadline is important, that’s a communication problem. And a good manager can fix that too. It’s the manager’s job to prevent messes from happening again.


The best way to do that is to tackle the problem. Not the person.


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