“No Problem” is Shirking Your Responsibility

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“When you say, “no problem,” you’re letting yourself off the hook, refusing to acknowledge what was said and closing the door for a useful interaction. Because there is a problem. Exploring what the problem is is far better than denying it.”

This, from consummate marketer and author, Seth Godin.

I am as guilty as anyone in not coaching by giving immediate constructive feedback. When someone apologizes for an error I’m the first to say “no problem.”

Thursday night, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz was lighting it up against the Los Angeles Clippers in an NBA playoff game. He was putting up three-pointer after three three-pointer and driving to the hoop time and again on the way to a thirty-seven point game.

After hitting another three-pointer to pull away near the end of the game, with the Utah crowd going wild, Jazz coach, Quinn Snyder, grabbed Mitchell by the jersey to coach him on how to move on the court before he takes the shot. A shot he made, not missed.

While many players would have blown off their coach, Mitchell nodded, effectively saying, ‘Got it.” At only twenty-four years old and becoming one of the best players in the league, Mitchell was looking to get better. And Snyder was looking to get his team to the NBA Finals.

It’s like Godin says,

“Feedback is a gift. It lets you know precisely what the other person wants or needs. After you receive the gift, it’s up to you to accept it or not. But shutting down feedback with an argument or by appearing ungrateful makes it less likely you’ll be offered it again. And if you’re getting feedback from a customer or a prospect, shutting it down makes it likely that they’ll walk away and take their attention and their trust somewhere else.”

I wish I was half the coach Snyder is. Seeing Snyder’s interaction with Mitchell, I realized though that there was a lot I had to offer my team members through constructive feedback and coaching.

Saying “no problem” is just shirking my responsibility to my team members and the team as a whole.

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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