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Dysfunction - Find the Fun, Fix the Festering

In the midst of this pandemic, we have all had to make changes and adjustments in our daily lives. Many are dealing with heightened levels of stress and frustration brought on by these new ways of operating. It is times like this when dysfunction has the opportunity to creep into your workplace and thrive. Dysfunction is when things don’t operate as you want them to. Recently, I’ve heard stories from clients of short tempers and arguments in video chats or in essential workplaces.

Dysfunction isn’t unique to these times and it isn’t one of those problems that disappears when you ignore it. I remember a phone call I once received from a great client-- a brilliant businessman with a thriving business. He said to me,

“Doug, I just ripped the phone cord out of the wall and threw the phone at my business partner. Please come over and help.”

Another time, a client described how he hurled a stapler across the room.

Sometimes insults are hurled. Sometimes threats such as “I quit!” and “You’re fired!”

These are all obvious signs that there is dysfunction in a business.

How do you prevent dysfunction?

  • Keep everything in perspective

  • Pause; before you react irrationally, think about the outcome

  • Choose the most rational attitude/behavior/reaction, regardless of whether you feel your anger is justified

  • Suspend judgment

  • Laugh it off (Check out my last blog Happiness in Isolation for some tips on finding ways to laugh)

It may be obvious, but… dysfunction is bad for business. Don’t do it. If you or someone on your team can’t help it, call me. Festering dysfunction only gets worse. Address it.

Find the fun, not dysfunction.



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