You’ve probably seen ivy that covers a hillside or someone’s yard, maybe even your own. But as for me, I hate the stuff, and I mean HATE it, with a passion. It takes over and has huge root systems that steal all the water from the other plants nearby, not to mention that I just think it’s kind of ugly. The funny thing is that now as I think about the experience, there is a great lesson to be learned from my experience.
The other day I was digging up some ivy with the help of my family, and it took several hours to pull up and cut it’s almost 6 inch diameter roots out of the ground. It would be impossible to dig all of the ivy up at once or just pull all of the roots up in one big pull. Instead, digging was required, as was prying with the shovel, using a bar to pry it up, and finally sawing the ends of the roots off with a hacksaw. In short, it took several smaller steps to actually remove all of the ivy roots from the section of the yard that we were working on. It also required working together and figuring out where the best places to pry up on it and cut it were, and weighing all of the options in getting it out.
What does all this have to do with tackling your problems at work, you might ask? Just like when we dug up the ivy a step at a time, your problems at work have to be solved the same way, a step at a time. Trying to instantly fix problems at work is impossible, and so every problem has to be broken down into smaller steps and each of those steps needs to be carefully taken as you work on fixing your problems at work. It’s important also to self-evaluate your progress, as well as ask for constructive criticism from others, just like we all contributed our opinions and helped each other dig up the ivy. You obviously can’t use all of the opinions in solving your problems, so you just have to use your best judgment and go forward after weighing all the options.
What kinds of problems are typically found at work? There are so many problems that I can’t list them all here, but some typical ones are: communication problems, performance problems, and hitting a wall in a creative project.
Each of the above problems can be solved in most cases, given time, patience, and by breaking up the problems into smaller steps. Just like we broke up the problem of digging up the ivy into smaller steps, doing the same in your work will help you overcome almost any problem that you might face in the workplace.