As a leader, have you ever tried to get your managers and employees to come to you with solutions, not just their problems? If so, you know that it’s difficult because you have been enabling them for years by being the problem solvers. So, what do you do? Many people decide to give up and continue to be the “problem solver” in their business. But there’s definitely another way. This post will tell you what you need to know to make sure you create the results you are looking for and successfully hand over the baton of “solution creator” to your direct reports and help them become more solution minded.
If you’re looking to create not only short term but long term results, you need to follow the 3 Solutions Method:
#1 The next time an employee walks through your door or stops you in the hallway with a problem, you STOP, look them in the eye, and say, “What do you think we should do, in your opinion?”
#2 After they get through the shock of your question, you follow up that question with, “What are three solutions to this problem, in your opinion?
#3 When they say, “I don’t know,” you follow up by saying, “Go and think about it and come back to me this afternoon with three solutions to this problem.”
#4 When they come back that afternoon, you ask them, “What are your three solutions?” Here is where you listen, ask questions about how they came up with each solution, praise them on thinking about it, and then tell them the one you believe they should go with and WHY.
#5 Before your employee leaves, you let them know that moving forward, they cannot bring a problem up to you UNLESS they have thought about three SOLUTIONS…this is where you create consistency.
Now that you know how to get your employees to be problem solvers, you’re ready to start being more of a coach without worrying about always having to have the answers.