When any of my staff members come to me with a problem my gut instinct is to immediately help them fix it. This not only makes their issue go away, but it is a quick fix for me, the manager. But the question is, is this the right thing to do?
Training and helping the staff to grow in their position is part of what my job is. When I think back to when I started out at my job it was just me, no other staff, and I had no one to help me figure out many of the problems I encountered so I just tried to figure out what was the right thing to do.
Many times, I did figure it out the answer and sometimes I made mistakes, but with the mistakes I really learned a lot. I would not trade the experience of having to figure things out and the knowledge I gained from the lessons learned for anything.
There is something about learning on your own and figuring things out that builds your confidence and makes you feel like you really do have a brain and it works. You gain wisdom from experience.
After I thought about how I was handling my staff members problems, I realized I needed to change what I was doing so they could grow and be strategic thinkers. It is not that I want my staff to struggle, but it would be good for them to try to solve their problems first, or at least come up with a solution that they think would work to run by me before I step in and help them.
After I started doing this my staff started bringing problems or issues to me telling me how they planned to resolve the problem. This gave me the opportunity not only to step in if I needed but it showed me how they could fix most of the issues that I use to fix.
This not only has this increased their confidence in their position, but it also made them more competent at their jobs. It gives me so much pleasure to watch them figure things out and grow. Not only does it make me happy, but they are also much happier, and my job is more enjoyable because I have the help of a competent staff.