Nail down the problem

When an employee comes to you with a problem, put it in perspective before you scurry to solve it. Don’t take your panicked worker’s word for it if he says, “We’ve got a crisis on our hands,” or, “The situation is getting worse by the day.” If someone claims a problem is multiplying, respond calmly by asking, “From what size to what size?” Digging for facts that objectively characterize the scope of the “crisis” may help you realize that there’s no cause for alarm.