Becoming a Staff Improver Versus a Problem Solver

Becoming a Staff Improver Versus a Problem Solver

7/2/2018 7:58:02 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 32

Often times, doctors are frustrated with their team’s inability to deliver results after they have been pre-defined. 

The scenario goes like this:

Staff are often coming to the doctor with problems that they should be able to manage on their own. Even after the doctor has laid out exactly how he/she wants the situation to be handled, the staff consistently can’t produce the result. The doctor doesn’t have time to help solve every problem the staff faces and feels like he/she has tried everything to change the situation. 

The doctor from the above scenario is a problem solver but has not developed their staff to handle their own situations. By telling his/her staff what to do every time, the doctor has created a work environment that hinders personal development.  Most likely, the doctor failed to define the purpose of their directives and how the process matches with the values of the practice. This lack of communication opens a gap that is filled by each team members own interpretation of the purpose of the task at hand. 

Purpose is a direct determinant of action and confusion takes place when each team member has a different interpretation of purpose. This creates the challenge to achieve one common goal and overall will yield endless questions from team members. 

A “staff improver” will find success in managing their team with minimal questions and confusion using this simple approach:

When someone approaches you seeking a solution to a problem, tell them you have a solution, but would like to hear their solution first. A lot of times the staff members solution will work or will only require small adjustments. Remember to always provide correlation between the solution and the practices purpose and values. Over time, staff members will learn that their opinion matters and works while following the common values of the practice. Also, they will learn to not expect an answer before they share their input. Eventually they will develop and rely less and less on your directions. This idea relates to the Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for the day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”


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