Day 10 – Stop fixing their problems

Oct 17, 2016

Teach a Man to Fish21 Days of Leadership

What do you do when a team member comes to you with a problem? Do you:

a) give them the answer/ solution
b) jump in to fix it yourself (cause it would be quicker that way)
c) ask them what they recommend to solve it?

Many of us – myself included – are fixers. When someone comes to us with a problem our inclination is to jump in to fix it or give the answer.

This may solve the problem in the moment, but there is a long term impact to using this approach.

Being the fixer creates a culture of dependency. Every time you solve their problems you are (subconsciously) teaching them that they can’t do it on their own. You are teaching them that they have to come to you for the ‘right’ answer.

And then you start to feel frustrated that they can’t seem to figure things out on their own and always have to come to you for the answer.

As a leader it is up to you to create a culture where your team brings solutions and not problems.

Next time a team member comes to you with a problem coach them to find their own answer. You can start by simply asking them “what do you recommend we do to fix this?”

If they are used to you giving them the answer or jumping in to fix it this might catch them off guard. And it might take some time for them to come up with solutions, for the simple fact that they aren’t used to being asked!

Exercise patience while you are empowering them to learn to think for themselves. It may take some time but the long term impact will be well worth the investment.

An empowered team is one who rises to the occasion because you, as the leader, have created the space for them to do so.

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

#21daysofleadership #day10 #empowerdontfix #LEADMastermind


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