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Reaction or Over reaction

As a business owner you are continually dealing with issues as you focus on the growth of your business.  It is critically important that those issues be dealt with in a manner that is consistent and yet commensurate with the circumstances.

For example if an employee were to do something wrong, the right thing to do is to understand the circumstances, assess the right course of action and make a decision.  Depending upon the circumstance it might mean involving a few people in that decision process, but the goal would be to make a decision quickly.

The situation might have cost the company business, might have caused other people to be inconvenienced or any number of serious impacts.

The last thing you need to do is to over react.

I ask myself a few key questions:

1.  Was there malicious intent?

2.  Is this a systemic problem or a one-off event?

3.  Is it an honest mistake (and I remind myself that I have made a few myself)?

4.  Is the event itself and the ensuing aftermath sufficient lesson to ensure it is unlikely to happen again?

5.  Is there a lesson in here for a wider audience that needs to be developed?

6.  What would I expect if I made that mistake?

If the situation is tense and time allows, then I might want to sleep on it.

From the answers to these questions I can determine an appropriate course of action.

There should be no vindictiveness.

Some examples of Over Reaction:

1.  A company fired its proposal writer because an error in a response caused them to miss out on a large piece of work.

Really?  There should be no one person at blame, what about the sales person, the QA, the manager … the blame game is not a good thing.

2.  A school bans schoolyard football because a student got injured.

Really?  Need I say more?

3.  A company changed their dress code policy because too many people were abusing casual Fridays.

Really?  Deal with the problem.  Re-educate the staff about your expectations, and remove privileges from offenders, not everybody.

4.  The government brings in new legislation affecting an industry because of misuse of a program.

Really?  Go after those who misuse the program, NOT the whole industry.

Deal with issues in a consistent and professional manner. 

Do not let emotion into decisions. 

Do not play politics on the back of a few.

Always strive to do the right thing!