Associating Problems / Issues / Challenges to Mean the Same Thing
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and allowing us to share some insight with you.
How many of us have associated the words Problems, Issues, and Challenges to mean the same thing?
I definitely know I have.
Now, how many of us have made this mistake when speaking with a staff member by beginning our conversation with:
"These are some of the problems/issues/challenges (I have with you)"
How do those conversations usually turn out?
Most will usually "turn-off" or become defensive usually resulting in arguments, negative feelings, tip-toeing around, etc. that will ensue ADDING to the original problems/issues/challenges and causing even MORE Stress or Negativity and never really get to addressing or coming to a resolution.
So … how do we address a problem/issue/challenge more elegantly?
We have to disassociate each word from one another and use them in according to their actual meaning.
So let's go into defining each word to use them in the right context: Problem, Issue, and Challenge:
Problem = Any question or matter involving doubt, uncertainty, or difficulty.
How many of us have run into a problem and gotten STRESSED? I know I certainly have and it's a crappy feeling. We're trying to deal with doubt, uncertainty, and/or something difficult and it causes us to Stress.
We become Stressed because of Fear: Fear of doubt, Fear of uncertainty, Fear of identifying the root of something difficult.
A problem is a question or matter without an initial clear definition or source.
Issue = Something that is sent out or put forth in any form.
How many of us have run into an issue and felt Overwhelmed? We've made some progress going from a problem to an issue because we've identified the problem or put forth source of a problem.
Usually when dealing with issues we become overwhelmed. We know what the issue is; however, we start become overwhelmed by not knowing or wanting to go through the process or processes to address it.
An issue is an identified problem without a clear path of processes to a solution.
Challenge = A call or summons to engage in any contest, as of skill, strength, etc.
How many of us have run into a challenge and felt Stressed & Overwhelmed? But there is a difference to a challenge compared to an issue or a problem even though it encompasses both. There is an action element that a problem or issue lacks thus creating a drive or purpose to reach a solution.
A challenge provides you an opportunity to hone your skills and resources to face the fear and overwhelm knowing that there is a target outcome.
Now that we've learned what each word means and the correct context to use it in each conversation, we must shift our mindset and focus on the action standpoint rather than a list standpoint from:
"Here are some of the problems/issues/challenges (I have with you)"
"Let's challenge some of the problems/issues (I have with you)"
The right employee wants to feel supported and challenged.
We appreciate you for taking time and allowing us to provide you with some value. We'd love to hear about your thoughts with comments.
P.S. Have Blessed and Kick Butt Day!