If you told your staff, “I won’t be taking any questions today,” what would happen?
When staff members habitually come to you with their questions, they are passing the responsibility of the outcome onto you. If things don’t work out, they can always say, “the boss told me to do it.” The more questions you answer, the more they will come asking. With that, no new learning ever takes place.
Instruct your staff to think through a problem first. Once they have thought that problem through, allow them to come to you to share what they believe is the best solution. From there, you can either approve their decision or suggest an alternative. They will quickly gain the confidence needed to solve problems on their own, and you will have fewer interruptions in your day.
Ken Albrecht is president of Reliable Propane in Clarence Center, New York.