As an executive coach I hear a lot of questions like – How can I get my team to stay motivated? How can I get them to solve their own problems? How can I delegate more and still get quality results? The mindset a manager brings to his job will always determine the quality of the results she or he gets.
If we are constantly in the mind frame of being the “chief problem solver”, guess what, that’s what we will get more of. I know there are specific issues that need addressing when you are a manager; however, problem solving is a temporary stop gap.
In the words of Robert Fritz, author of Path of Least Resistance, “Problem solving is taking action to have something go away.” If you are successful you get the problem to go away, however you usually haven’t created the results you really want.
Once the tension of the problem has eased up sufficiently enough for our attention to go to some other issue, we tend not to follow through and act on the core issues that perhaps caused all of the so called “problems”.
What’s needed is a paradigm shift from problem solving to creating. Yes, start to look at what you want to create. What kind of team do you really want? What are the qualities, competencies, conversations they need to be having? What kind of manager do you need to be to sustain this?
Problem solving is like a head ache tablet. It gives you temporary relief to get on with things, it deals with the effect, however it doesn’t allow you to act on core issues, and create lasting results. Get into the habit of thinking creatively not problematically.