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10/12/11 1:26 P

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When you have a concern or become aware of a problem, follow these steps:

1. Clarify in your own mind what the issue is and what is making you dissatisfied. Be aware that your past and how you see or understand things affect the way you interpret situations. It's also important to recognize that, since you're the one who has the concern, the problem is yours. This will help you to explain your problem more accurately and will also help keep others from going on the defensive.

2. Decide whether or not you need to discuss the issue with the other person, or if it is something you can handle on your own. For example, if Joe is having a problem with Sally, he should talk to Sally about it before talking to anyone else about it. Or if Joe realizes that he is expecting Sally to get more done in a day than he could do, he might decide to change his expectations and not bother her about it.

3. Speak with the other person privately about the problem. Here on SparkPeople, that means sending a private SparkMail just to the person you are having a problem with. Here are a few tips on what to include in that SparkMail:

Tell the other person what you think the problem or issue is. ("I have a problem with...")
Give one example. Make it short and specific. ("For example, when you...")
Explain how the issue affects you and/or others. ("This causes me problems because...")
Explain how you are feeling about the situation. ("I feel...")
Acknowledge your responsibility for part of the situation. ("I think I have contributed to the situation by...")
Indicate your willingness to explore solutions. ("I would like to find a solution, so let's see what we can figure out."

4. Wait - PATIENTLY - for the other person to respond. If you have sent a SparkMail, this could take a while as it depends on the other person's time and how often they log into the site.

5. Come to an agreement about how either or both of you will work to put the solutions into action. Decide how to hold each other accountable for doing what you have agreed to do.

If you find that the other person is not responding to your attempts to open up a dialog, or if you feel that they are not willing to work with you to find a solution to the problem, that's when you should bring in someone else. Here on SparkPeople, if your problem is with someone who is on a team that you are on, you should contact one of that team's leaders. If your problem is with someone who isn't on any of your teams, you should contact one of the Coaches here on SparkPeople.

PLEASE NOTE: If your problem is with the Team Leader(s), please still follow these steps. Please remember that we are all human, and we will naturally make mistakes. We aren't the Team Leader(s) because we're perfect, we're the Team Leader(s) because we love the team and want to help our members achieve their goals!

My favorite words to live by:

Live life fully while you are here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect--just an excellent example of a human being. ~Anthony Robbins

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