Benchmark Business Group

Turn Frustrations Into Opportunities

May 22, 2018

As a business owner, you probably deal with all kinds of frustrations on a regular basis:
 
  • A vendor had a problem and now your shipment is going to be two weeks late.
     
  • Your receptionist forgot to give you an important message that a large client meeting has been moved and you show up an hour late.
     
  • You learn that inventory for a product is too low to fulfill a larger order your sales team completed. 
     
Regardless of the specifics, frustrations are stressful and can cost you time and money.

 
Along with the stress, cost, and added time, frustrations can also bring opportunities to your business. Yes, you read that correctly. We are not saying that every problem encountered can be made into sunshine and rainbows, but they can be viewed with a different mindset; a mindset that explores how you, your team, and your business can learn and grow from frustrations.

 
Three mindsets that can change frustrations into opportunities are:

 
Celebrate Mistakes
Every business strives to prevent mistakes, but no matter how prudent, we are human and mistakes happen. Therefore, if we know mistakes will happen, why not design a culture that celebrates them? This doesn't mean we endorse giving out bonuses whenever a team member makes a mistake. We do encourage you to say, "Congratulations!" the next time an employee makes a mistake. Then, discuss the mistake and the affect it had on the business. Give your employee an opportunity to learn and be a part of the solution. Instead of blame, change the focus to ways of preventing the mistake from happening again. When a culture of celebrating mistakes is established, employees will take a proactive role in making decisions, because they no longer fear making a mistake.

 
Insight - Encourage your employees to talk openly about mistakes and how they affect your business.

 
Continuous Improvement
Frustrations are a great opportunity for current processes to be improved and innovated, or new ones to be created. The collaboration of your team and the intellect they have in their positions is a treasure chest of ideas on what needs to be different in your business.

 
Insight - Use frustrations as a catalyst to involve your team to improve your systems and processes.

 
Employee Development
Not all frustrations are caused by the lack of an effective system. Frustrations can also indicate an employee is disconnected from achieving a result, or perhaps there is a need to expand skills, gain new knowledge, or undergo additional training. Once you identify a frustration is not a systems issue, your focus should be to engage employees to identify what went wrong. Was the system not followed? If so, what prevented them from following it? Can your employee describe the impact to your business and customers if they don't follow the systems that would have prevented the frustration? Do employees feel they need more knowledge, information, or training? Ask your employees to identify what's missing, and what they feel will support them to get the necessary results in the future. Draw them into being a part of ensuring the frustration doesn't reoccur.

 
Insight - When a team member doesn't follow a system, determine if it is a knowledge, information, or training issue and take the necessary action to provide them with what they need.

 
When your business adopts these mindsets, frustrations move from problems to opportunities that allow your team to learn and grow without trepidation. Frustrations can become opportunities to design your business to achieve Value Realized.

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