Lesson 6 – Dealing with Problems

Dealing with Problems

So you didn’t recognise the problem coming and it caught you broadside. Has that ever happened to you? What do you do now? Let’s take a look at the suggestions and see if we can make sense of them.

  • Assess the situation
  • Meet the difficult behaviour head-on
  • Stay calm and objective
  • Be up-front
  • Make it a two-way conversation
  • Put yourself in their place
  • Be flexible
  • Be tolerant


Think before you act. Make a plan, however sketchy.

Meet the difficult behaviour head-on.

Don’t bury your head in the sand. This has happened. You must deal with it.

Stay calm and objective.

Getting emotional will only make matters worse and you may say things you’ll regret.

Be up-front with the individual.

The longer you wait the more difficult things become. Say what needs to be said though.

Make this a two-way conversation.

Make sure the other individual gets a chance to have his/her say as well. Give him/her that chance earlier rather than later. If they have their say you may then have more facts or they may say some of the things you wanted to say but felt uncomfortable saying.

Try to put yourself in their place, and look at the situation from their point of view.

You need to put yourself in their shoes, to see how they are looking at the problem, to have any chance of understanding it, let alone resolving it.


This is a useful tool so use it! Treat this as a learning experience and accept that this conflict may change the way you see or do things. That’s OK.

Be tolerant

What a dull world if we were all the same. It may not be your way, but that doesn’t make it a wrong way.

Other tips:

  • Develop Resolution Exchanges or Agreement Frames.
  • Watch for those words like but, never, always, and should. No point in waving a red flag in anyone’s face.