Don’t Solve Your Team’s Problems for Them


Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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If your team is constantly bringing issues to you rather than addressing them on their own, you aren’t doing your job as a manager. So only let problems get escalated to you thoughtfully and occasionally.

o To make sure you’re not stepping in when you shouldn’t, ask yourself several questions. For example, don’t ask “How do we solve the problem?” until you’ve paused and considered “Who should own this problem?”

o Balance the need to resolve the issue with consideration for how your actions will influence future behavior. In your desire to help your team, you might be tempted to do more than you should.

o If others are struggling to solve problems they should rightfully own, always ask “What is the least I can do?” Find the lowest level of initiative for yourself, while requiring your team member to act in ways they are capable of.

Adapted from “When to Solve Your Team’s Problems, and When to Let Them Sort It Out,” by Joseph Grenny

To check out that HBR article and join thew discussion, please click here.

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