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There are times in our lives when we will find ourselves involved in a project, team, organization, etc and attend meetings post problem. Things will have gone wrong, are currently going wrong, or not getting done and an ass chewing will take place. What happens next is crucial and determines the future of the endeavor.

First, check yourself. Do a self-assessment of your actions and inactions. Even when someone tells you upfront “this ass chewing doesn’t apply to you” it is up to your to determine where you stand. Are you 100% vested in the endeavor? If you are placed on a team, are you an individual doing work with a team or are you a member of the team? Do you understand what the problem is and how you can contribute in a positive manner to ensure success moving forward?

Second, now is the time to listen and observe. How are other people on the team reacting outside of the meeting, what are they saying or doing? Do you have a sense that others understand the problem and are going to contribute in a positive manner to ensure success?

Third, what are people not saying from one follow-up to the next?

Finally, write all of this out. Include a synopsis of what you understand the problem to consist of and what are the possible solutions. Based on your observations write a synopsis of where all of the individuals on the team stand regarding the problem, possible solutions, be sure to include yourself. With all of this written down, you should now have an understanding of the dynamics of the team as well as an understanding of how the problem occurred.

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