When an employee comes to you with a problem, what is your most likely reaction? Are you a doer – someone who jumps in and solve the problem – or are you a facilitator – someone who helps the employee get to the bottom of it on his/her own? Most managers and supervisors I talk to readily admit that they even though they know the better answer is the latter (i.e. being a coach and facilitator), they still tend to step in and take over quite quickly. So why is that? Why the tendency to take over and run the show? I think that it’s always one or more of three possible reasons:
- Time. You’re busy. It’s often simply quicker to give the answer, check it off the mental list, and send the employee on his/her way. Coaching takes time, and the truth is, it’s often in short supply
- You know the answer. You’ve likely been around longer and you might even have come up from the ranks doing exactly this same job. The answer is a no-brainer so why not just spill the beans!
- You’re good at taking action. Your track record in making decisions and getting things done is why you now have the big title and the even bigger salary. If it worked for you before, it should work for you now, right?
So what do you think? Why the tendency to “do” rather than to “coach”? Add your thoughts in the Comments section below. Or perhaps you’ve overcome this inclination to take over. In which case, please share, I think many of us would value the tips.