Sunday, March 4, 2007

I've been told a number of times that I have a pretty annoying habit and that is that I'm a compulsive problem solver or "fixer". If you come to me with a complaint, a gripe, a problem - my first reaction is to give you a solution. I want the problem fixed, I want it gone and I want everyone to move on and be happy! Sound familiar to anyone? I know there's lots of us out there like this...

The two problems I find for me with my innately problem solving mentality are:

1. Quite often people don't want a solution, they just want someone to listen to them.

2. If you constantly give someone solutions, you don't teach them any problem skills for themselves.

Not long into my career managing staff I decided that from then on when people would come to me with a complaint or a problem I'd ask them to also bring me a solution.

The hardest part for me was (and is!) also learning to sometimes ask the question "Do you want a solution here or would you just like me to listen?" It's one of my ongoing challenges.

The next time someone comes to you with a conundrum, a conflict, a grumble - consider these two points mentioned above. Firstly - do they just want a sympathetic ear? Secondly - how can you help them improve their problem solving skills?

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments


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