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Editor Tip #18: Address the Situation. Correct the Problem. Move on.

I think tonight’s editor tip is one of the most important for you to learn how I work.

I’m a firm believer in addressing problems when they happen. I’ve found that ignoring problems or just letting them go generally does little but make the problem worse. Problems don’t usually go away. Sooner or later they need to be dealt with.

I don’t want you all to have to play a guessing game with me each day. That’s why I try to be honest with you all the time. I work to give you
praises when I see you doing things well and I work to address problems when then arise. I do this for a few different reasons.

#1 – I am no good at reading others’ minds. No matter how hard I’ve tried I’ve never been able to get into someone’s head to figure out what they’re thinking. I think it’s safe to say, we’ve all been in a situation where we know someone is thinking something but not saying it. I really don’t want you to guess with me. I’m not into dragging things out and I’m not into drama. Therefore, if I have something to say, I’m going to say it. If you’re ever unsure of what I’m thinking, just ask. I’ll tell you honestly. That way you don’t have to be running around asking others what they think I think.

#2 – While you might not like my honesty when you’ve done something wrong, I’ve found that it’s important. It’s important because when I tell you that you’ve done something right, it hits home and you know I’m telling the truth and not just blowing smoke. Words carry much more weight if they can be trusted.

*So, when problems arise, addressing the situation is the first step.*

*Here I go addressing the problem:* A few of you have been off editor tips for the past week. I’m not even sure some of you realized it. A few of you did. In Editor Tip #15 I asked you all to send me an editor tip that I could send to the group. I didn’t get one from everyone. If you were one of the few who didn’t send one, I took you off the list for a week to see if you’d notice.

The problem here is that a few of you didn’t follow through with one of my requests: Read Editor Tips. If you don’t follow through with reading a simple email from me each night, how can I expect you’re going to fulfill your duties as an editor?

*Once you have addressed the problem, you need to correct it.*

*After it’s addressed, we correct it:* I can’t really correct this one. I brought it to your attention and let you know that it’s a problem. The
correction has to come from you this time. I am not going to verbally read all my emails to you each day. That would be silly. You just need to commit to reading what I send. You need to read what other editors send. And you need to read what the staff sends. Period.

*After you have worked to correct it, you just need to move on.*

*After we correct it, move on:* Once I address a situation and we talk about how to fix the problem, I’m all about moving on. I don’t beat a dead horse. I don’t hold things over your head. I address it, figure it’s going to get corrected, and I move on. You all are in high school. You’re all learning to be leaders and many of you are stepping into unfamiliar territory with your editor spot. I’m here to teach and guide. You’re going to make mistakes. I’m going to make mistakes. We’re all going to make mistakes.

It’s ok to make mistakes.

You’ve just got to learn from them. As long you learn from the problem and correct things, all is good.

If we have to address the problem again down the road — that’s when we have a situation.

But we’re not going to have any of those this year, are we?  🙂

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