Don’t Solve Your Team’s Problems for Them

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Leadership Tip of the week

adapted from HBR

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.

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?”

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.

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

Author: Andrew Mann

Managing Partner at NorthBailey. Having had senior marketing & insight roles at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Coop and M&S, I'm now using my experience & network to solve strategic marketing problems for NorthBailey clients

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