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Stop Solving Problems!

January 29, 2013

Daily ReadStop Solving Problems!

The next time an employee tells you about a problem, stop, listen–but whatever you do, don’t propose a solution. As a leader, solving problems is what you do. Employees or others in your organization faced with situations they can’t solve come to you hoping you will either solve the problem for them or tell them how to solve it themselves. But before you swing into problem solving mode, ask yourself: should I be the one to solve this? Sometimes the answer is no. Here’s why:

  1. Your employee may merely want a sounding board. Sometimes employees will take the time to describe a challenge in detail simply to let you know how hard they’re working. Or perhaps they want you to listen and lend encouragement while they work through the problem themselves. Or, they may actually want you to come up with a solution. Until you know which one of the three they need don’t offer a solution.
  2. You’ll get better buy-in. Your employees will bring more commitment to that work if they’re using a strategy they came up with rather than one you handed down to them.
  3. You’ll wind up with happier and better employees. Proposing a solution to a problem and then being entrusted to carry out that proposal means opportunities for career development for your employees. Like anything else, solving problems improves with practice (along with their confidence!) and their skillset.

In the end, letting your employees solve their own problems, will make them happier, you happier and everyone will become more productive!

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From → Daily Reads

One Comment
  1. I wish my boss in Hong Kong would read this! But, she hasn’t got the time because she’s busy working / solving problems for the whole office…


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