Challenges Help to Build Character

Joe Weinlick
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Workplace challenges are inevitable. Managers sometimes have little to no control over these conditions when they occur, but overcoming challenges helps to build character and strength that can inspire and motivate employees. Focus on positive strategies that direct behavior toward productivity and managing employees to overcome adversity with grace and professionalism.

Successful managers approach workplace challenges as a positive means to develop professionally and build character. Set goals and boundaries to approach issues and problems within the company culture. Listen actively when approached with an employee who is frustrated. Avoid reacting or interrupting so you can understand the challenge an employee is facing. Non-defensive responses that include eye contact and a recap of what employees are feeling can help to break through anger and confrontation in a positive manner.

Offer solutions that promote a positive work environment yet also validate the employee's concerns. Promote professional character by serving as an example when employees are frustrated and facing challenging issues in the workplace. Keep your feedback focused on behavior instead of personality conflicts. Discuss with employees how actions can complicate the company culture, and demonstrate calm behavior. Managers who remove emotion from the discussion help employees to focus on the underlying issue and overcome workplace challenges.

Successful managers serve as conflict mediators instead of taking sides during workplace challenges. Avoid serving as the know-it-all, and listen to the problem that is being presented. Ask questions to all of the involved parties and provide options for solving issues. Make suggestions that are appealing to both sides and encourage collaborative measures. Stimulate motivational thoughts, and encourage employees to be a key part of the decision-making process.

Strong communication skills are an integral part of building character in employee skills. Managers should work to sort facts, dispel myths and acknowledge opinions when working through workplace challenges. Raise awareness about the issue, and present all sides without being critical. Show employees areas in which they agree, and establish goals and expectations for behavior in the workplace. Outline behavior that is acceptable, and construct strategies to help build awareness of employees' strengths and weaknesses. Communication can often clear up misunderstandings when mediated by a manager who is willing to listen actively and communicate effectively. As a result, employees feel heard and appreciated when managers take the time to resolve problems in the workplace.

Character building is a long-term process that ultimately helps to improve employee motivation and productivity. It is inevitable that managers have to mediate conflict, offer solutions to workplace challenges and seek strategies to inspire loyalty to the company's goals and missions. Invest in communication practices that are beneficial to employees, customers and the company as a whole to improve the well-being of the business.

Photo Courtesy of mrsiraphol at



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