Whether you are manager, leader or someone accountable or responsible for someone’s actions, you have to know how to reprimand or resolve conflict appropriately. Have you ever had to discipline someone or deal with a mistake that was made by a peer, colleague or whomever and it seemed very daunting? Of course, you have: who hasn’t? What makes some people successful in resolving conflict and decision making is getting to the root of the problem. Sometimes, knowing how to deal with issues, mistakes or chaos that can be easily repaired or are so chaotic that it creates tension, loss or disruption will be an indicator of true leadership and/or professionalism. Unfortunately, many professionals miss opportunities to be seen as a problem solver because they do not know where to truly begin sorting out the situation. This often leads to either avoiding the matter, over-reacting or under-reacting; all of which leads to a less than favorable result and possibly in appropriate reprimands or disciplinary actions.

Not all mistakes are equal. I believe that why a person did or did not do something is just as important as what s/he did. If someone did something that has caused problems for you or the company, don’t you want to know why? It’s not uncommon to hear someone yell, “I don’t care why he did it!” But, this could be an indicator of whether they will make the same mistake or even worse mistakes in the future. This week’s video will touch on how to determine where the problem begins with the person whom you must engage. Sometimes, we focus too much on the problem and not on the person in terms of how the mistake was made and why the mistake was made. These two things can be instrumental in dealing with a situation effectively and bringing it to a positive conclusion or at least taking appropriate action.

If someone makes a mistake because they didn’t know any better is less problematic than someone making a mistake because they didn’t give a damn. You can retool, train and educate someone on a mistake derived from not knowing while deliberate mistakes or actions that are careless in which they could care less should be dealt with differently because you can rarely change their heart.