Confronting Problems Now Before They Fester

One day my colleague Patrick’s ace executive assistant Rita gave her two-week notice out of the blue. Patrick was taken by surprise, especially since Rita wasn’t getting a significant raise in pay or benefits. Rita admitted that she was fed up because of an ongoing conflict with another colleague, Tim, who kept barking orders and demanding that she drop what she was doing whenever he needed help on his projects. Over the course of several meetings, Patrick, Rita, and Tim resolved their differences. It was a valuable lesson for Patrick, as it opened his eyes to the fact that he needed to:

  • Emphasize cooperation among his team members.
  • Provide an outlet to team members caught in ongoing conflicts with one another.

Laying a foundation for working together as a team helps everyone to solve their issues before trouble starts. As always, asking the right questions is the key:”What problems/challenges are we facing as a team?”

  • “What opportunities should we take advantage of in the months ahead?”
  • “What’s preventing us from working together effectively? How can we be more effective now?”
  • “What is our purpose as a team? Are we able to achieve that purpose right now?”
  • “Do you feel you can come to me about problems you’re having with another team member?”
  • “How can I encourage you to perform better as a team?”


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Paul Cherry

For over two decades, sales expert and author PAUL CHERRY has helped B2B sales professionals close more deals in all major industries. As a recognized thought leader in customer engagement strategies, Paul Cherry has been featured in more than 250 publications, including Investor’s Business Daily, Selling Power, Inc., Sales & Marketing Management, The Kiplinger Letter, and Salesforce.

Performance Based Results

Paul Cherry is the president of Performance Based Results. PBR delivers intense, customized sales team training programs and sales management coaching to companies throughout North America. Paul has worked with more than 1,200 organizations, including 175 of the Fortune 500, plus more than a thousand entrepreneurial, small to mid-sized, cutting-edge businesses looking to dominate their niche markets. Clients typically get 7 times their return-on-investment (ROI) or better.

Questions That Sell

Paul Cherry’s top-rated bestseller, Questions That Sell: The Powerful Process for Discovering What Your Customer Really Wants (AMACOM) has been listed on BookAuthority’s “100 Best Sales Books of All Time” and has been published in four languages. He is also the author of Questions That Get Results (Wiley) and The Ultimate Sales Pro (HarperCollins Leadership).