How to Manage Your Team When Everything Blows Up
In this video I’ll cover:
- What it really means when things get chaotic in your business
- Why your first reaction is to get angry, and how to take a step back and avoid saying or doing something you’ll regret later
- How to recover – and more importantly, how to put systems in place so it doesn’t happen again
Watch the video:
Click here to ask Melissa a question.
Time Freedom Video Transcript – How to Manage Your Team When Everything Blows Up
It’s Melissa Ingold from TimeFreedomBusiness.com and we’re back with another reader question.
This week’s question comes from Rochelle. She says, “Help! I’ve been working with a VA for a few months and everything was going fine until a couple weeks ago. All of a sudden things aren’t getting done, there’s no follow-through, and I’m having to chase after her just to find out what’s going on with her own business. Everything is in chaos and I don’t know how to put it back together. Where do I even start?”
I know it’s frustrating, it’s driving you crazy, I’ve been there. It’s going to happen. No matter how amazing your team is, no matter how long they’ve been with you, no matter what your business is, things are going to happen, crap is going to blow up and it’s really going to put the pressure on you and on your team.
You know what? I think that in my business . It always tends to happen when the business is getting ready to up-level and to grow to that next step. Often when I look back I remember thinking of something related to a particular problem and thinking, “I want to change that, we need to do something about that.”
But you don’t, you put it off, and then all of a sudden it just one day blows up. Now you have to deal with it.
It can cause a lot of stress and panic, but out of those situations it’s really amazing to see your team step up and handle those kinds of situations and really come up with some amazing changes that can be implemented that you’ll find out will actually be better for your business in the long term. As I said, for me anyway, when stuff blows up, when the crap hits the fan, it means that something in particular has to be addressed, it has to be fixed now, it has to be improved because the business is getting ready to take that next level up. This happens all the time.
Some things that you really want to do when stuff has just blown up, it’s gone crazy, you don’t know what the hell is going on, you’re frustrated, you’re feeling a little panic, a little bit anxious. You really want to acknowledge that. A lot of times you knew all along that something was going on and you were going to have to change that, but you didn’t, you ignored it and now it’s forcing to deal with it. You have to acknowledge that.
A lot of times as business owners we kind of look at the situation for what it is and we’re freaking out, but there’s always an underlying issue.
There was something kind of below the surface of that, so you have to dig a little bit deeper.
One of the things that you will want to do is to kind of step away from the situation, give yourself a little bit of space to really process it and think about it. You may want to get on the phone with your business coach or a really close friend and talk about it. You will also want to bring on particular people on your team, like maybe your executive assistant.
Maybe another part of your business something was blowing up, so you really want to talk with your team and get their feedback and their suggestions, and kind of ask them what happened, “What was going on below the surface? What can we do to change things? Where can we make improvements?”
A lot of times your team are the ones that are in the day to day of everything, they’re talking with customers, they’re assisting them, they are doing a lot of behind the scenes work. So listening to them and giving them that platform to talk with you and get their feedback and thoughts on things can be so valuable for your business and can really help you push through and come up with the right solution or answer to the problem.
I don’t want you to just try to sort it all out yourself. Give yourself the space to process it, to think about what may have been going on, but you also want to talk with other people and air it out, kind of share that stress and anxiety.
Actually, recently we’ve had a kind of crazy blow up. You kind of want to be really quick to judge and get angry and frustrated, but I’ve learned over the years that’s not the best thing to do. Sometimes what happens is you end up saying things you really shouldn’t have because you blamed someone that was not to blame at all. It really can ruin great relationships with team members, with other people.
That’s why I want you to make sure that the first thing you do is to just, take a deep breath, Give yourself the space, don’t say anything that you’re going to regret later, don’t make any harsh or rash decisions that you are going to regret later. You really want to discuss it, think about it, and come back to it when you’re calmed down somewhat, you feel like you have your thoughts in order and you know what needs to be done.
Then you can come from a place more of calm and relaxation when you start asking questions, when you start digging and trying to find out more about what’s going on and what caused the issue, why things are blowing up. That way you’re not just blaming people and then later realizing, “I totally blamed her, I spazzed out on her, she had nothing to do with it and it was my fault.”
You can’t take back words, so you want to make sure that you do give yourself the space for it.
Again, I want to mention here having systems in place. How do you deal with something like that when things aren’t getting done? Another reader had asked about having team, what happens when they get sick or things happen. Having things just kind of blow up is another place where you are going to want to have other people trained to step in when things happen.
Maybe something is going on with a team member, so you’re feeling like, “Crap, now what? Who is going to do this stuff? I don’t want to do this stuff, I have all these other things going on.” Maybe you’re hosting an event, or you have a lot of coaching clients, or you’re trying to create training, and now suddenly you have to go and answer customer questions or be posting content to the blog and formatting documents. It’s really not a good use of your time.
Policies, systems and a backup plan help avoid disasters.
If you have a backup person that you can call up and say, “Hey, I need to jump on board here and take on this extra work for me until we resolve some things that are happening.” You want to make sure you have that kind of procedure, policy, backup plan put into place so that people know what to do. If you have other team members, they’re going to know what’s expected from them in those situation.
Then you’re going to want to discuss – again, talking with your team can be really valuable, talking with your coach or colleague to come up with a solution and really find out where the opportunities are. As much as it sucks having something just freaking blow up and cause all this stress and chaos, a lot of times there is an opportunity in there.
Maybe it’s a system you were using and you knew all along that you’ve outgrown the system, it just isn’t working for you, and now the crap has hit the fan and now you have to deal with it. It’s an opportunity to move your business to a better more robust platform that is going to grow with your business, instead of staying stagnant and stuck in using a system that just really isn’t working that you were frustrated with, maybe your customers were frustrated with it, but because you just didn’t want to deal with the hassle of doing it you had put it off and now you have to face it.
That is an opportunity to say, “It’s time, I get it. Everything is blowing up, let’s get this resolved, let’s create this opportunity where we’re going to be in a better place for the business to grow, for our customers to be happier.” I want you to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. Look for the opportunity in what has happened. You’re just going to feel a lot better about the whole thing.
It’s time to put the proper training in place.
The last thing I want to say is that you’re definitely going to want to have the proper training in place for your team. If your team starts to drop the ball on certain things, you’re going to want to make sure that they are trained properly. Maybe you’ve been assigning specific tasks and you’re feeling like, “What the heck, things aren’t getting done, why is she not communicating?”
It could come back to something as simple as she doesn’t know what she’s doing and she’s afraid to tell you that. She’s afraid that she’s going to lose you as a client because she doesn’t know how to do that work that you want her to do, she doesn’t know how to talk to you about it, so it’s almost like she dropped off the face of the planet. It’s really frustrating for a business owner, but you have to have that training in place.
If systems and procedures aren’t in place, things won’t run smoothly.
A lot of times when things blow up it puts pressure on you, on your team, on the business, but it always seems to be for the good of your business. It forces you to face up to things that you haven’t been dealing with. In your case maybe it’s that you don’t really have proper training in place, you don’t have communications systems in place, you don’t have procedures and expectations in place, so balls are getting dropped, she doesn’t really know what’s expected of her, she doesn’t know how to approach you, she doesn’t feel like she’s equipped with the proper tools or training.
I want you to make sure that you go through all of those things. I have a lot of great videos, tips, and blog posts on the TimeFreedomBusiness.com blog, so make sure you spend some time going through there and see if you can find any tips for training and for managing projects. There’s lots of great information there if you want to learn more about how to make sure that you have everything in place to deal with a situation where there is a crisis and things are going crazy.
You definitely don’t want to place blame.
The key takeaways are to give yourself space to process. Don’t immediately say anything out of anger or place blame somewhere. Step away, process it, think about it, and then talk with someone or start looking where you can dig deeper and find out what is going on and where things are getting dropped exactly.
It could just be something as simple as a breakdown in communication, like she didn’t even know that you had assigned those projects because email can get lost, you can send an email and have no idea where it’s gone, so you’re blaming her for something that really wasn’t her fault. That’s why having a project management system can be so helpful. Yes, you can use it with email, but they can always login to the system and so can you as the business owner, to see what work is expected of them, to see what their calendar is and their deadlines and what tasks are assigned, so they’re not just relying on email.
You want to make sure that you’re taking that space and then you want to dig deeper. Then look for the opportunities to make amazing changes that are going to have a big impact on your business. Don’t just get totally stressed out and panic and say, “Screw it, I’m sick of this, something is always blowing up, I’m done, I’m throwing in the towel.” Don’t do that, because there is always an opportunity.
When you really think about it, the thing that blows up is usually the thing that has been on your mind, that’s been coming up, little issues, little quirks, little tech gators that just keep coming up, and you just put it off because you didn’t want to deal with it, you didn’t want to go through the whole hassle of changing things. Finally it just blows up and you have to deal with it.
Look for the opportunities.
Then think about where maybe you don’t have systems in place or you don’t have proper training in place to deal with these kinds of situations. Your team has to know how to deal with these kinds of situations and you have to know how to deal with these kinds of situations so that you’re not taken off guard, that you’re not unprepared to deal with something when it comes up. Because let me tell you, this is not going to be the first time that something like this happens. You have to have a plan in place, a procedure. What are you going to do to resolve the situation and find the opportunity in that?
That is all for me. If you love the video, I would love to hear your questions or feedback on my Facebook page. I want to connect with you there, so go over to Facebook.com/TimeFreedomBusiness. You can also leave a comment here on the blog. If you would like for me to answer your question about outsourcing, delegating, anything to do with teams and creating more time freedom, send them in. You can click the link below this video and you will be taken to a form where you can send me your question and maybe I will answer on my weekly video.
That is all from me. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye.