The Elephant in the Room Be Careful! He’ll Squash You!

02 Oct
by Bridget DiCello

What is it in your work environment that annoys you or that you find unacceptable, which you have not addressed or have not resolved successfully?

Typically, each person has their own levels of tolerance for different situations and the behaviors of others.  Combined with their comfort zone, this determines what they are willing to actually address.

Have you worked with:

1. Whiners?

2. Absolute minimum performers?

3. Missed deadlines but not by much?

4. Chronic poor performance in one area, with a million excuses?

5. Unspoken tension?

6. Give an inch, we’ll take a mile?

Have you tried to address situations such as these?  Maybe you have resolved some of these situations well, but you probably tolerate other situations, although grudgingly, because you’re not quite sure what to do.

The Elephant

Think about yourself in a conference room that seats eight people.  Now add a full size elephant.  It would be crowded, difficult to communicate, a bit intimidating and probably downright uncomfortable at times.  Pretty similar to the feelings people experience when one of the problems above stays unresolved, especially for any significant period of time.

The first step is to name the elephant.  Think about yourself in the same room above with a blindfold on.  It gets stuffy in the room, you keep walking into a ‘wall’ and there is no space, you get hit by a trunk every now and then and it doesn’t smell so pleasant.  You must name the problem that exists in order to change it.  Look beyond the obvious.  Look for the root of the problem.  Look deeper than you may think necessary.

Then, decide to have a conversation about it.  Don’t dance around the problem.  Talk to the person.  Connect with them and try to understand where they are coming from and why in the world they are acting the way they are.  Then, come up with what can be done differently to change the situation.

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