What do you do when one of your team brings you a problem?
Most managers, directors and business owners I speak with usually reply with, “Well I give them the answer.” This is common sense right? It’s quick, it’s easy and I get to tell my staff how I want the problem solved.
The problem is, what happens next time your team encounters a problem?
They go to the source of their last solution – you. If you as a leader are consistently providing a solution every time one of your staff brings a problem to you, you are training them to become reliant on you to solve their problems for them. Your staff will lack initiative and responsibility in the workplace.
The result is that you find yourself constantly fighting fires, solving other people’s problems and without time to do the strategic work that only you can do. You become frustrated, worn out, dissatisfied at work and your company and your family suffers because of it.
There is another way.
What if when your staff encountered a problem, they knew that if they brought that problem to you they would be asked a series of strategic questions? Questions like:
- What do you need to achieve?
- What’s the context of problem?
- What options are there to solve the problem?
- How would you implement the best option?
If your team know they are going to be asked these questions, they are going to want answers to them before they come and speak to you. In answering these questions, they learn to solve their own problems. If you repeatedly ask your staff these types of questions, you are training them to take the initiative and the responsibility for solving their own problems.
The result of this approach is that you have less interuptions, more time on your hands to do the important work only you can do, you are less stressed, less frustrated and enjoy work a whole lot more. Additionally, you are developing your people which means higher levels of productivity, performance and professionalism, as well as improving culture and reducing people problems.
This approach of strategic questioning is in essence the skillset of an executive coaching. It is also the most effective way for a leader or manager to develop individuals, enhance team capability and build a proactive culture.
Using coaching skills is the most effective way for a leader or manager to develop individuals, enhance team capability and build a proactive culture in the workplace.
Does this interest you? Would you like to add this skillset to your leadership tool-belt?
If you are, my Coaching Leader Workshop will equip you to be able to apply the skillset of an executive coach and to adopt this approach effectively in your workplace. The next one is coming up in Brisbane on the 1st of March. I’d love to see you there.
I would love to see you there. I hope you’ll take the next step in fulfilling your leadership potential by joining us.
Until next time… lead well.