Whose Problem Is It? – Part I

A team member comes to work late.

One of your direct reports looks increasingly worried and tense.

effective leadership trainingThese and dozens of other problems crop up every day both at work and at home.  That’s inevitable.  What matters is how they get handled which is something effective leadership training can teach you.

A good place to start is figuring out who the problem belongs to.  That’s because different skills are needed to solve the problem depending on whose it is, or who “owns” it.   Leaders need not jump in and assume responsibility for solving all the problems.  As anyone who has done that knows, it becomes not only a terrible burden, but an impossible task.

Test yourself by reading the following examples and then deciding who owns the problem—who has the unmet need.  Is it the leader or the other person?   (Stay tuned as the answers will appear in a subsequent  post):

1.     A team member fails to meet a deadline that impacts your own deadline.
2.     Another department head tell you she’s worried that she’s going to lose her job.
3.     An employee leaves your office after a heated exchange and slams the door.
4.    Your child fails to come home in time to leave for a dental appointment which you must pay for anyway.
5.    A manager in another division hasn’t included you in meetings that affect your job.
6.    One of your team members comes in looking teary.
7.    Your spouse tells you s/he’s worried about an upcoming performance review.
8.    A team member tells you s/he’s having problems at home.

The skill of determining who owns the problem and then knowing which interpersonal skill is needed to solve it is a core component of our leadership training programs.

Stay tuned for Part II of this interactive blog post!  Coming tomorrow!


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