Employees, employers, retirees and everyone else should check out this outstanding post by Professional Life Coach Tim Brownson: “5 Questions That Will Change Your Life.” Mr. Brownson arms readers with 5 questions that you should ask when facing any important life decision- I should note, these questions directly apply to any employment dispute or litigation that you are considering.
The magic questions are these:
1. What Else Can This Mean?
2. Who Can Help Me?
3. What Am I Grateful For?
4. What’s My End Game?
5. What Can I Learn From This?
I won’t cover each question in depth- you should definitely read Mr. Brownson’s article for the descriptions.
But what I will say is that each and every one of these questions are extremely important to ask yourself when you have an employment dispute.
Almost everything I have written in this blog has been an attempt (without knowing) to address these fundamental questions.
Here’s one of myriad examples. If you are an employee and considering whether to file an employment discrimination complaint, have you considered Mr. Brownson’s question # 4, “What’s My End Game?” That is, have you really thought to yourself: “What do I want to accomplish with a legal complaint, and can a legal complaint accomplish this?”
If you haven’t thought about this question, you’d better do so, before you go ahead and file a discrimination complaint and face unknown consequences. As Mr. Brownson puts it, “Would you set off in your car with no idea where you were going, why you were going there or when you were likely to get back?”
Probably not. But people do this all the time with legal claims! It is common for people to file a legal complaint first, and then learn how things “end” second. It’s a much, much better idea to reverse this order. That is, you should learn about the possible “ends” that can occur from filing a discrimination complaint (or any legal complaint) before you file the complaint and begin the legal process.
(By the way, I have a post here where I do my best to explain what the end game or results of a Wisconsin discrimination complaint could be, and what factors a WI employee should consider before filing a discrimination complaint; I have another post here about what factors I think make a potential legal claim a “good case” and more likely worth pursuing).
As a final note, no matter how bad your employment situation, keep in mind Mr. Brownson’s question #3: “What Am I Grateful For?” As a blogger and individual trying to make sense of the world, I am grateful for his post!
From our perspective as workers, we should be grateful- no matter what has happened to us- that at this moment we are alive and have the opportunity to influence our destinies. Whether that means pursuing a legal action, or not pursuing a legal action, is a matter of educating ourselves and making informed decisions. Reading Mr. Brownson’s article and considering the 5 questions will go a long way to educate and assist us in making such important life decisions.