WHY, WHEN AND HOW TO SAY “SO WHAT?”

6 Apr

At work, everyone experiences deadlines. Just trying to meet every deadline through your own efforts can be tough enough, but when having to meet a deadline when you are dependent upon others can be very stress producing especially when “others” are not cooperative.  That is exactly what happened to Amy.

She needed to prepare an urgent report for her boss but was having difficulty obtaining the information she needed from a peer working in a different department. Daily, she tried to obtain the information she needed from this peer. Nothing seemed to work.  Finally, Amy became desperate because she had reached a critical point and was fearful that she would not have enough time to complete the report and still meet the deadline.

“I was so afraid of not living up to my usual standards,” Amy said, “that all I could think of was missing the deadline. The last thing I wanted to do was face my boss and tell her that I couldn’t meet the deadline. I just couldn’t face her!”

After thinking about, and accepting, the worst that could happen, Amy approached her boss, Fran, and presented the situation. Much to Amy’s relief, Fran was very understanding. Why? Fran realized the handicap Amy was working under and was impressed with her numerous efforts to get the information. Most importantly, she liked her “no-surprise” course of action. By learning of the situation early enough, Fran was able to solve the problem before it was too late. Fran’s solution: She provided an assistant who helped Amy get the needed information so that she could complete the report and hand it in on time.

Amy’s unwitting use of an effective unblocking technique led to the successful resolution of her predicament. The technique I am referring to is, called Bright’s “So What?” Quick Charge. This Quick Charge is always practiced by using the following two steps:

Step 1: If, despite your best efforts, a task presents unforeseen difficulties, simply say: “So What?” For example, you might say, “So what if I didn’t get the information on time? So what if things don’t work out as they should? So what if the person doesn’t cooperate as he/she is supposed to?”

Saying “So What?” helps to relieve the emotional build-up and instantly puts the situation into perspective and allows us not to get so upset, fearful or worried, that inaction follows. Then, to focus yourself properly, immediately follow your “So What?” by asking yourself an important question:

Step 2: Ask: What are you going to do about it? This step is essential because it enables you to begin directing your energy in more positive and constructive ways. Once you’ve decided what to do, remember to take action, as Amy did when she told her boss she was encountering difficulties.

 

http://www.drbright.com

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