Bring me Solutions, Not Problems

Bring me Solutions not Problems

How much of your time is taken up responding to staff queries? “I’ve got this problem, can you give me some ideas?”, “Have you got a moment - I don’t know how to handle this situation?”


Because you have an “open door” policy and don’t want to be seen as unapproachable, you respond, don’t you? You spend time with your employee, you go through the issue, recommend a course of action and the staff member goes away satisfied, as you do – you’ve helped as requested. All’s well…. apparently.


But not really. What’s happened here is that your have allowed your staff member to interrupt your time and you have created a situation where that staff member knows that when they have what they believe is an “issue”, all they have to do is approach you and you’ll fix it. (Thereby absolving themselves of all responsibility.)


So, what’s the answer?


I would suggest adopting the principle “Bring me solutions, not problems”. Here, the employee is encouraged to do the initial thinking, so your response can be: “Can you come back in say, half an hour? ….. and, by the way, before you do, can you give some thought to your issue and maybe bring back two or three options?”


In the majority of cases, you won’t see them again – at least, not with respect to that issue!  And why not? Because, they will think about it and the answer will be obvious. For so long, they’ve been relying on you to answer the question, to solve the problem and they’ve become complacent. Now you’re throwing the responsibility to find solutions back to them and they’re responding.

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What John Matthew believes about small business

That the owner has risked many things that others take for granted;

That there is no guaranteed income or reward for the considerable effort that is required;

That often, the family home is on the line to support the business and its constituents;

That there is a dignity and self-respect that is earned;

That entire communities would be better places if there was an increased appreciation and respect for small business.

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