How to overcome challenges in the workplace

Being prepared for the unexpected is all part of day-to-day office life. Challenges present themselves in ways you might not have planned for, knocking your workflow off balance in the process.

With the right procedures and plans in place, however, challenges can be easily dealt with when you’re faced with the unexpected.

Here, we’ll talk through some tactics and methods to help you deal with challenges in the workplace.




Stay level-headed


In a heated situation, it can be easy to fly off the handle, especially when those strong emotions start bubbling to the top. Always let a cooler head prevail, if you need to make a decision or take action, keeping your emotions in check and remaining professional is important.

Feelings are not facts, consider the information that’s available to you and give yourself a few hours to calm down before you move on. Once the feelings have subsided, you’ll appreciate the restraint that you displayed. Also, have you faced something similar before? If so, how did you overcome it the first time around? Use your time to reflect before you react, see what resources are available to you or see if a colleague can help. Rushing straight into things could cause more problems.


Three business people having a discussion.


Likewise, if you were passed over for that big promotion in favour of someone else, it’s important to be gracious in the face of bad news.  If you have to disagree with the news, be respectful. Your issue is likely with the idea and not the person. There’s a difference – you can hold differing opinions without forcing a divide between you and your colleagues.


Consider where you went wrong


Were your expectations unrealistic? Perhaps you work hard but you aren’t always the most approachable person? Maybe you faltered during that big presentation?

If so, now is the perfect time to take a step back and note where you think you might’ve gone wrong. Use your missteps as an opportunity to change your thinking and look towards the future. In approaching similar goals, you’ll have the upper hand knowing where you faltered the first time around.


Say “I can”


In the face of a challenge, you might find it easier to shy away and say “I can’t”. Instead, look at this perceived negative as a positive and know you can do it. Tackle the challenge head-on and show you can learn new things on the way. Proving yourself is all a part of progress and that’s when people start to take note.


Avoid dwelling on it


Whatever the challenge, try not to dwell on it for too long. Obviously, some problems are bigger than others, but there are some things you cannot change, so move on as quickly as possible.


Depressed young woman using computer at the office


Instead, focus on planning ahead. Use what you’ve learned from this situation to turn it into a positive so you’re better equipped for next time. Trying another tactic and approaching things from a different angle might give you the advantage when similar circumstances arise.


Let things wash off you


It can be easy to take challenges to heart, especially since your own work is so directly involved. But, it is important to remain professional, and let any struggles or shortcomings wash off your back. Reacting in an unprofessional manner will only detract from your overall ambition.

You can use a lot of energy by tackling the source of the challenge, rather than the challenge itself. This energy could be more appropriately spent on pro-active, productive efforts. Be sure to distance yourself from this kind of thinking as soon as you can.


Stay resilient


Challenges by their very nature can be tough, and overcoming them requires fierce determination and persistence on your part. Use your resolve and stay resilient on the way to new goals and successes. Take stock, plan sufficiently and set a course of action. You’ll face some bumps along the way, but it’s important to remain focused.

Take things a step at a time, you can approach challenges in many different ways, whether it’s solving a problem or learning a lesson. Embrace the challenge rather than shrinking away, the rewards will be worth it.

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