The Snowball Effect



Imagine the little ball of snow you so carefully created with your gloved hands in the icy fresh air. You place it on the ground and momentarily look away, distracted by the sounds of laughter from a nearby group. You turn back to see your little ball of snow has begun to roll down the slope. ‘Never mind’ you think to yourself, ‘I can make another’.


Left unchecked your little snowball rolls and rolls and begins to gather more snow and begins to grow. As it grows it gathers momentum and now your little snowball is little no more. Your little snowball is now very much out of control. What will happen to your snowball now?

Just as the little snowball can become momentous when left unchecked, so too can the people problems at your workplace. Sometimes we have seemingly little problems within our workplace and as managers and leaders we don’t take action at the first opportunity.


We might be too busy, we might be distracted, we might not be skilled enough, confident enough, or simply not empowered to manage and lead as we should.

Whatever the reason, when we fail to act quickly and decisively, our lack of action begins the snowball effect. Sadly, just like the snowball your people problems will quickly roll out of control. What will happen now and at what cost?

Every poorly managed complaint or problem within your workplace has the potential to become very costly either with litigious action, lost production and downtime, workers compensation claims, unplanned leave, resignations and the flow on effect of recruitment and onboarding; and let’s not forget the reputational damage to the organisation and the reputational damage to the manager.

There are many solutions available to us as managers and leaders that will empower us and assist us to be confident enough to work with our people and help them to resolve conflict early. Improving how we communicate with each other and raising our understanding of perception and perspective are just some of the relatively easy steps we can take.

So let’s not leave our people unassisted and without a voice. Learn to manage your problems as they arise then and there. If we miss our chance to stop our little snowballs from rolling away, before we know it, we’ll have giant snowballs we can’t manage and who knows what will happen.

If you need any support with this reach out and book yourself a FREE one-hour strategy session with me. I will spend some time discussing some options and strategies to help you navigate your way through the snow and keep your snowballs from rolling out of control.


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