There’s a TV personality in the sports world that has a phrase that he says frequently – “That’s a YOU Problem.” For example, he might say “If you have a problem with Joe Athlete and don’t respect or like him, then that’s a YOU Problem.” OR he might say, “If you don’t like how Team ABC goes about its business, then that’s a YOU Problem.”
Essentially what he is saying is that no rational person should have a problem with this individual or with this team.
Whether or not we would agree with his assessment, there is an application to his statement for the world of customer service.
Oftentimes, we have a problem when dealing with certain co-workers, certain types of people (Millennials? People in authority positions?), certain customers, certain vendors, or certain personality types. We don’t enjoy interacting with these folks, and it’s because of some problem we have with them.
But before we assume that the issue that we have with them is 100% their fault, it’s sometimes beneficial for us to ask the question that the sports personality asks – “Is that a YOU Problem?” In other words, what biases or preconceived notions or personal preferences or life experiences am I bringing into a conversation that is making the issue happen or at least making it bigger than necessary?
Think of somebody that you don’t get along with well. Think of somebody that you don’t enjoy interacting with during the course of your workday. Now take a step back and simply ask yourself “What is it about me or how I engage with this individual during these encounters that could make the situations unpleasant or ineffective? Is a fully a “Them” problem, or is it somewhat of a “Me” problem?
Maybe in 99% of the cases you are right – there’s something about this other person that is causing these interactions to be negative or poor. But at least take a step back and see if you have a part in the difficulties.
Maybe there’s an opportunity to eliminate the problem you have with this other person if you were more self-aware and changed something yourself.
Make sure it’s not a “YOU Problem.”