What can you do to make your workplace a nicer, friendlier place to work? I’m talking about working well at work—going the extra mile if necessary in order to create a better relationship with coworkers and management. I talked about the importance of not playing the blame game. Here’s suggestion number two:
Always bring a solution when you present a problem. Anybody can complain and find fault, and there’s plenty of that going on in most work environments. But the person who brings a solution to a problem is very valuable. So, before you go into gripe mode, ask yourself, If I were in charge, what would I do to resolve this situation?
Early in my career in sales with IBM, I remember my manager telling me, “We don’t have problems at IBM, Mary, we have opportunities.” Now, that may sound kind of corny, but truly if everyone approached a problem as an opportunity, it would eliminate most of the negative chatter and complaining that is prevalent in far-too-many workplaces.
What would you identify as the number one problem where you work? What is the one thing you would really love to change, that you feel would truly make your working environment better? Maybe it would be something that would increase efficiency or productivity, or something that would eliminate a headache or a frustration. Identify that one thing, and then come up with a solution.
If you can’t come up with a solution, then you certainly have no right to complain about it, do you? Maybe you’re thinking that no one would take your suggestion. But have you tried? And have you presented your idea in a constructive way? Many people predict failure before they even try, and of course, those become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Proverbs 16:21 says, “The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.” When you present your solution to a problem, be very discerning about how you say it and make your words pleasant. That will help the other person to hear and to give credibility to your suggestion.
But please also be aware that sometimes a problem is far more involved than you may know, and there may be extenuating circumstances of which you have no knowledge.