Overreacting To Exceptions

Leadership can get tricky when we are presented with noise. A lot of knowing how to lead others and ourselves well is to understand what are exceptions and to what degree we should address them.

Perhaps you have a customer that is completely dissatisfied with a feature in your product. They yell, scream and slander you. Yet, you have fifty who are delighted and quietly adore you. Is the person an exception? The amplitude of the complaint can distort the truth. It may be painful and emotional, which it is meant to be, however, how much attention and remedy should you apply?

Too often, emotional crisis causes a disproportionate response and we over manage a correction. At the cost of serving the majority, it can be easy to let an exception pull us in a direction consumes a lot of energy without a great return.

Overreacting can sidetrack you quickly from what is a steady course. It’s human nature to change only when there is a crisis. Otherwise we proceed as we always have. It’s a shame, most of our decisions are emotional rather than logical. However, that emotion motivates action.

It’s a two-sided coin. A crisis can help drive needed change in your life or business, especially from an exception. However, it can also distract.

I try and look at the facts and let an exception cool off before reacting. It keeps me from going down rabbit trails. Ultimately, I want an ROI from the energy I am going to expend to create something different or correct something. If it’s only good for one obscure person or customer, then it may not be worthwhile. If it furthers something more strategic and overarching, then the emotion is great fuel to take advantage of a crisis.

My encouragement is to step back. Don’t overreact to exceptions. React according to good leadership – make a maximum impact that is worthwhile.

What do you think?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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