Among the many things I feel working at Paradiselandia, I feel frustration. I run aground a problem with people or processes and it is just so annoying that I could scream (if I have the energy by then) among other things.
Thing is: that doesn’t help anyone, so what do I do? Well, according to Seth Godin, it would be best for me to just “poke the box”. So I do. Several times a day in some cases.
From that experience, I have learned a few things but the most solid of the lessons is this:
The frustration you feel is all the permission you need to start a fire.
In growing companies, it is especially important to learn how to take frustration and turn it into a plan, process, or something resembling answer more than angry question.
This usually takes practice and more than a few moments of burning your hand on the proverbial stove, but after a bit of that, I learned to handle work-related frustrations by asking a series of questions:
- Is this really a problem or is this just my ego? I hardly think this needs explaining, but if I’m raging and it leads to gossip and factions and not a group of people working to make things better for others, then this should be drowned in coffee or cake and never heard about again. Most people have 8-hour work days and there is absolutely no room for selfishness in that time.
- Is this actually a problem or is it an inconvenience? This is a personal check for me. Sometimes, the need for radical change is riding a wave of emotions and will not matter at all or very little in comparison to more important things. If this is the case, I put this on a backburner for about 30 days. If it still matters, I make time to work on it then.
- Can I fix this on my own or do I need help? If I can work on or start resolving this problem on my own, then I start the gears turning. If I need help, I identify the people that can help me by asking questions. This requires you to actually be aware of your team, what they do, and how they communicate. This would be a good time to mention that you are going to have to get your ego out of the way if you have one; things need to be done and being stubborn or prideful doesn’t help you or anyone else.
- Who else is affected by this? It is seldom that I am alone in my frustrations, so when I can, I look to my sides and see if there are any other comrades-in-arms. Perhaps they have found a way to deal with what I’m experiencing. Perhaps they have the same questions I do and just as many answers.
At the end of it, I want my frustrations to end in positivity and growth. If you’re thinking about clams and pearls at this point, you have the right idea.
Now I leave it to you, the reader, to make this work for your situations. Look around, bring other people along, and leave a situation better for your having been involved.