Why Don’t You Come to Me with Solutions Instead?


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An old boss said this to me once.

He was pissed at my “continual complaining” about “so many issues”. That was his take on the matter. Mine was different.

I was pissed off too. He refused to address the many nagging problems that my team had to deal with every day.

Service suffered. Morale suffered. We were refunding money back to customers for mistakes that could have been avoided. My teammates were stressed, and it showed. But he did nothing about it.

But he sure was willing to point out the problems when we couldn’t overcome them.

Have you ever had a boss like that?

I hope not.

The once productive team now lost a step. A step that mattered. A step that was noticed. And a step that needed to be rebuilt.

But he didn’t know how to do it.

Do You Know How to Fix the Problem?

It seems that before joining us, the new boss moved up through the ranks quickly (it seems he was/is a “yes man”). Never having led a team. Never having led a department. And certainly, by way of his actions, never created positive morale within his team.

I can tell. It shows. You can see it in how he interacts with the employees.

  • Does he lift a finger to help when you’re busy? No.
  • Does he communicate plans and expectations? No.
  • Does he give thanks or share praise when the team does well? No.

I should stop here because I can keep adding to this list all day…

Leaders understand what is happening within their department(s). They can sense it by the body language of the employees and the banter passed around. They just know when it’s time to jump in to help. And they do.

Even if they don’t personally jump in, they make arrangements to get the help needed and find ways to ease the rush of work. Most importantly, they “fight” for their team. I did, time and time again. It got me in trouble on many occasions.

I don’t believe in simply following orders. This isn’t the military. When plans go awry, I find out why.

  • Is it a staffing issue?
  • Lack of direction or control?
  • Equipment or product shortages?
  • Sales department selling more than you can produce?

What is creating the problem that has handcuffed your team?

What Happens When You Don’t Have a Solution?

Leaders find out why and then dictate a course of action to overcome these challenges.

But not this guy.

He’d rather sit in his office and point out shortcomings. No need to address potential reasons why things are off. “Just get it done”, he says.

Then, little by little, one good team member quits. Then another. And the backtalk starts. Complaints abound. Employees start to “forget” to do things where they never have. Lateness becomes a problem. Smiles aren’t seen as frequently as before. The little “extra effort” the best employees give disappears.

And the manager(s) have to deal with this. Not the boss who has either created the problem or did little to quell it.

He says, “Why don’t you come to me with solutions?”

I have an easy solution. Hit the road, boss!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Steve DiGioia
Steve uses his 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers' desire. Author of "Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift...Even If You're a Bad Waiter" and named an "ICMI Top 50 Customer Service Thought Leader" and a "Top Customer Service Influencer" by CCW Digital, Steve continues his original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on his popular blog.


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