Leadership

Learning the Best Way to Solve Problems

Clare Anderson
27th December 2021
 < 1 min read

Jharfe, Invoicing Team Manager

My whole life I have been an enthusiastic and avid problem solver. If there is anything to be fixed, I will be the one who fixes it - sooner rather than later. My mind goes into overdrive, I can feel overwhelmed and I sometimes miss the finer details of what’s actually going on. I can even end up feeling anxious and restless when there don’t appear to be any problems to solve! The last two years at Sharesource have taught me how to be still. To stop for a moment and process what’s going on, rather than diving headfirst into trying to make the situation better. I have come to realise that doing this clears your head and allows the answers to come to you much more quickly and easily.

Managing the needs of 40 team members across our Philippines and Vietnam hubs with those of our partner and Sharesource is a balancing act in which there is never a dull moment - but I love it! My role includes making sure everyone is being heard, has the tools they need, understands the bigger picture and is meeting their goals. My problem-solving brain thinks it’s hit the jackpot! Taking on seven new members in Ho Chi Minh City this year brought with it a whole host of learning opportunities as I got to understand an entirely different culture and way of working. I’m always looking for new ways to improve processes and face challenges head-on. I love how rewarding the feeling of accomplishment is after fixing an issue. It’s fun - but my constant over-thinking can lead to anxiety if not carefully managed.

It was when my Mom died earlier this year - and our home was flooded on the second day of her wake - that I really got a wake-up call. I realised that I needed to reassess my propensity to take control of everything and go straight into fixing problems, without any thought for myself. With my family’s bereavement, I, as usual, was the one stoically holding everything together on behalf of my distraught family. If not me, then who? I didn’t allow myself to break down and grieve. I didn’t give myself time to process my feelings - I felt I had far too many responsibilities to rush back to. It took the kind support of our partner pointing out that I was on auto-pilot to make me realise what I was doing. He insisted that I stop and give myself the time I needed to come to terms with everything that had happened. And when I listened and actually allowed myself to cry and feel my emotions, they started to ease and I was able to return to my life stronger and clearer than before.

I’m thankful for the recognition of my problem-solving and gap-bridging skills that came with receiving Sharesource’s ‘Future Thinker’ Award. It highlights how I encapsulate the ‘WE-ness’ at Sharesource, create value in our community and align my team’s strategies with Sharesource’s values. And I’m also proud of the milestones my team are celebrating this year, including creating new Vietnamese and Specialist teams and reaching our highest ever total of 92,467 completed invoices and our 3 millionth invoice in November. However, I am also thankful and proud of the fact that I have learned what it means to take a step back, look at the bigger picture and not always go with my first instinct of ‘how can I fix this?’ I remind myself to breathe, take it easy and wait. Not everything is for me to fix or deserves my energy. Sometimes being still, patient and trusting is exactly what is needed for the answers to come.  

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