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How do you react when something isn’t working?

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I gave myself a late Christmas present, a behavioral profile, a DISC assessment. Perhaps that’s not what you would buy yourself as a present, but I was really curious after giving so many assessments to my clients in the last year. The reports really help me define my client’s strengths and weaknesses and tell me how they communicate so I can write in their voice. And they are great for preparing for interviews.

A few years ago, I completed the time management assessment but I wanted to see what would happen if I used the executive assessment that I give to many of my upper management, business owners, or executive clients. My report? Not a lot of surprises.

“Julie likes to deal with people in a favorable social environment.” and “She is good at solving problems that deal with people.” Top of the list of areas of improvement is: “Julie has a tendency to have difficulty planning and controlling time expenditure.”

Here’s the real kicker. We all have a Natural and Adapted way of dealing with things and the assessment talks about that. One of the areas is problems and challenges. My natural and adapted style for dealing with challenges match, but listen to this:

“Julie is ambitious in her approach to problem solving, displaying a strong will and a need to win against all obstacles.”

Today was clearly one of those days. I am overly enthusiastic about beginnings. So much so that though I went to bed early on New Year’s Eve, I was wide awake at 3:15am. I stayed up for a few hours and tried to clean up some of my e-mails but Outlook has been running slow for days and fought me every step of the way. Then I went back to bed for a few hours.

Normally, I’m a morning person. I rarely sleep in past 7am and only if I wake up during the night and struggle with getting back to sleep. I also prefer to write my blog posts in the morning. I love mornings. They are beginnings. I feel most creative then. But I didn’t write my blog post this morning. I didn’t even get into the shower early as I would have liked.

Instead, I spent a good chunk of the day still trying to tame the e-mail problem, get it to stop hanging up, and organize it for 2011. At the same time, I was really wishing I could get to the other things on my list.

On the first day of the year, I really like to get things done. Organize things, plan things… and definitely not fight losing battles with Outlook. However, see that strong will thing up there? I was bound and determined to win this battle because it was slowing me down.

When she has strong feelings about a particular problem, you should expect to hear these feelings, and they will probably be expressed in an emotional manner.

Ask my husband, I think he was in a duck and run for cover mode! I absolutely hate it when any of my  technology breaks, especially when I don’t really know what is wrong. I stubbornly kept trying alternatives to solve the problem:

  • Deleting the largest e-mails
  • Saving attachments to my hard drive and then deleting the e-mail version
  • Deleting random e-mails I don’t need any more.
  • Using the Mail Clean-up function to show me problem areas
  • Compacting files and folders
  • Checking settings in the options box
  • Deleting more e-mail
  • Emptying the delete folder (over and over again)

What I didn’t try was either asking Google, phoning a friend, or gasp, hire someone who knows more than me to solve the problem. As I started to write this post late this evening, I finally Googled “Outlook running slow.” Top of page one was a link with clear instructions on what to do. Yup, it was there all the time.

I followed the directions and I realized that one of the updates I let Windows install recently was Outlook connector. Outlook wouldn’t let me just disable the add-in (only the administrator can do that – I am the administrator but it didn’t seem to think so) so I had to uninstall the program in Control Panel.

I wanted to write a blog post all day after all it is New Year’s Day, a brand new beginning, but this Outlook problem was getting in the way. Had I not had such a desire to “win” against this technology problem, struggling all alone without help, I might have solved it much sooner and written much sooner.

Are you like that? So determined to do it on your own, whether it is writing your resume, looking for that new career, or creating your LinkedIn profile? So determined that you waste whole days because you wanted to win against all obstacles but were unwilling to ask for help?

But tomorrow is another day and I’ll just continue on… my report also says I have an “Optimistic, future oriented outlook…” See you in the morning!

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3 Responses to How do you react when something isn’t working?

  1. I have a tech background and still find myself being drawn down these avenues of “Tech Dispair”. Just the other day, I spent all day trying to get grips with facebook and the solution, in the end, was simple and available in a video!

    Sometimes, the best thing is just to walk away from it and you end up seeing it in a new light.

    • Thanks for stopping by Kiff! I think we all do, no matter how techy we are. The changes in technology are so rapid and the variables for every application are amazing. You might find helpful resources and tips from my WordPress and FB expert, Kim Woodbridge, she’s on the sidebar!

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