Make it pleasant to report problems

You can only solve the problems they report to you. Make it safe and comfortable to do so.

As an expert in your area or as a manager, you are a problem solver. People will bring you problems to solve because you have more experience, more power, more authority, more visibility, and more connections in the company.

But you can only solve the problems if they report them to you.

Reporting problems can be intimidating, it can be seen as a sign of failure or incompetency; and asking for help can be seen as a sign of weakness.

If reporting problems isn’t made safe they will hide them or try and solve them on their own, potentially making things worse until the problem gets so big it is too expensive and too late to solve.

Create a culture where saying ‘I don’t know’, ‘I can’t’, ‘I don’t have the time’, 'I don't understand' is not a sign of weakness or incompetence but a sign of professionalism. Lead by example and use those yourself when talking to the team. Welcome those questions with a smile, enthusiasm and a relaxed demeanor. You don’t fear problems, you relish them. They are opportunities to shine.

After all, if there weren’t any problems you wouldn’t have a job.







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