Too much problem-solving is a problem. Dis-empowered employees want you to solve their problems for them.
12 Steps to Stress free problem solving:
#1. Choose compassion, not solution. Solving problems for others is stressful and perhaps a little arrogant. Begin problem-solving conversations with an open heart toward people. Focus on them – help them focus on the problem. Every time you solve problems others could solve, you weaken the problem-solving power of your team.
#2. Determine if the problem is one only you should solve. Own it if it’s yours.
#3. Give the monkey back. People walk into your office with a monkey they want you to own. Every problem you own – that isn’t yours – limits your ability to lead.
#4. Set your solution aside. Solutions you provide invite dependency. It might be good for your ego, but it doesn’t strengthen organizational capacity.
#5. Relax. You aren’t going to solve their problem, they are.
#6. Create small buckets. Divide big problems into small buckets.
#7. Choose a bucket. Asked which issues were most pressing.
#8. Encourage people to focus on what they want.
#9. Encourage positive language. “How might you shift what you just said from negative to positive?”
#10. Focus on their behaviors, not the behavior of others. They can’t control others.
#11. Explore small changes. Aim low to reach high.
#12. Try something. It might not be perfect but it is progress.