In business and indeed in life we will be faced with problems on daily basis. For many it can seem like a daily grind when trying to deal with an almost constant stream of issues and as you work your way up the corporate ladder you will find that the level and severity of these problems will only ever increase. How you deal with these issues may be what will set you apart from your colleagues. I usually find that their three clear steps that should be followed when trying to resolve an issue and here they are.

Gather all the information

You often find that problems and issues will arise when people find themselves overwhelmed and stressed with the situation they find themselves in. The best thing to do here is to take a breather, step back, review the situation and try to figure out how things got to this point. Start by asking yourself these questions. What am I trying to achieve? At what point did things begin to go wrong? Is the situation salvageable? Can I still achieve my initial goals? If you can step back from the situation and answer these questions you will often find that you may have missed something before which could be the key to resolving this issue.

Get both sides of the story

If you find yourself trying to resolve issues that are unrelated to you  then the best course of action is to get both sides of the story. If the issue has arisen with two of your team members the course of action you will take will often be in response to their differing personalities and how best to confront them.

If you’re dealing with an issue that involves someone that is not directly involved in your team you will need to get their side of the story. E-mailing them may often be the first course of action but it is impossible to decipher their mood and exactly how much of an impact this issue is having on them. Picking up the phone and taking the time to call that person will help you to gauge the severity of the situation and also help you to offer reassurances that you are working on a resolution which can often help to defuse any tension.

Follow-up

The ability to address and resolve issues in a way that both parties are satisfied is an enviable trait to have, but following up after an issue has been resolved can be another great way to build confidence and trust. Taking 5 minutes to speak with a previously disgruntled customer or team member will show them that you are doing everything possible to make them happy.

It also shows that you took the issue seriously and if problems do arise in the future they will know that you are there to help address them. It also gives you the opportunity to make sure that everybody is happy with the outcome. Even if a customer did not have a satisfactory experience with your company this time, the fact that you were willing to take the time to give them a call shows that you have their best interests at heart.

When issues or problem do arise in the work place you may find that these three steps do not offer a satisfactory solution, but what they will do is help to alleviate any stress that has been caused by allowing you to get a much clearer picture of the issue that has arisen and what has caused it which in turn will help you to make a better decision as to how it can be fixed.