Please bring your solutions

June 21, 2013 By    

I was hesitant to do it at first. However, it is changing the way we interact with each other in the office. The new sign on my office door reads, “Please bring your solutions.”

As a manager, you probably have people coming to your office to ask you a lot of questions. Some managers enjoy being the center of attention, but that doesn’t help people grow in their jobs. If you find people waiting outside the restroom door to ask you a question as soon as you emerge, it may be time to consider a better way.

The next time someone asks you a question, respond by asking, “What is your solution?” After the two of you discuss their solution, nine times out of 10 you will agree with their conclusion. By putting the responsibility back on them for an answer, it gives them an opportunity to think it through for themselves. As a result, they have more confidence and will take ownership of the solution because they are the one who came up with it. And when they own the solution, they will be motivated to create a better outcome.

Ken Albrecht is president of Reliable Propane in Clarence Center, N.Y. Visit

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