Dear boss, stop solving my problems.

“A person crossing a road near a painted stop sign” by Bethany Legg on Unsplash

A friend of mine who is managing more than a handful of people, mentioned that he is “emotionally managing” his employees and it’s not helping. When I asked what does “emotionally managing” mean, he said that he gets drained from solving their problems. So, I asked, why are you solving their problems. To which, he replied: “well that’s what they come to me for”.

So the question is, how can a manager get away from solving employee’s problems?

Here are two tips:

#1 Believe in their intelligence: As a manager, your first job is to coach your employees. One of the core beliefs a coach holds is that all the clients are creative, resourceful and whole. Sometimes my clients don’t believe or remember that. So it is my job to remind them of their strengths. By reinforcing that your employees are intelligent, resourceful, creative people, you will be surprised, they will shift in energy and come up with solutions that you could not have thought of. In short, people meet the bar we set for them. So as a manager if you raise the bar (along with providing the support), your reports will meet it. Corollary, if you lower the bar, they will meet it too and perform at lower potential.

What would you rather do?

#2 Believe in your value: Second core reason you are solving your employee’s problems is that you identify with “solving” as your value/worth in the relationship. So the only way to stop doing it, is by attaching your value to something else, something greater. Let me explain, your value as a manager does not lie in the problems you can solve for your reports. Instead, it lies in you creating a space of safety, support and challenge, for them to rise up so they can solve it themselves. That’s how you “grow” them and yourself.

Of course, this is much easier said than done. If you are good at solving problems, it feels good to be a “problem solver”. Only issue is, the same strength overused overtime, becomes a weakness. So as a boss, ask yourself, am I serving myself and my team by solving this problem. If yes, then go ahead. If no, then deal with the short term pain of not solving and grow them to solve it themselves. This will serve you and your employees in the long term.

What value would you rather add?

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I am certified coach (CPCC, ACC), coaching people on how to hack their way to happiness and fulfillment. Connect with me: https://facebook.com/deepti.coach

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Hacking Life— Coach

Hacking Life— Coach

I am certified coach (CPCC, ACC), coaching people on how to hack their way to happiness and fulfillment. Connect with me: https://facebook.com/deepti.coach

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