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It may seem obvious to some but imagine the difference between an employee coming to you with a problem that you then have to figure out how to solve VS an employee coming to you with a problem they already have several solutions for and you simply need to choose (as the manager) which option you believe is best.

In my experience when most employees come across a problem they don’t know how to instantly solve they simply present it to their manager and wait for a response.

This does nothing other than concrete your managers opinion that you are unable to do their job and they subconsciously disqualify you from promotion, presenting them with multiple solutions to a problem however makes them feel they are in control whilst simultaneously considering you as an asset worthy of promotion or at the very least retention.

Edit: Couple of things that have come up

  1. Time frame – I wasn’t suggesting withholding critical information from your superior, if you have 30 seconds to tell them, come up with some ideas in that 30 seconds, even if they are bad ideas it shows you are willing to employ critical thinking in important situations. You can teach someone with bad ideas how to improve them, you can’t teach someone with no ideas how to have them.

  2. Trivial Matters – Obviously don’t bother your boss with trivial decisions that are a normal part of your job, it should be clear based on the roles and responsibilities of your position which decisions need management oversight and which are well within your jurisdiction to make, if that distinction is unclear it is certainly something you should clarify with your manager.

  3. You should just make the decision yourself – In many situations this is correct from a pure “efficiency” standpoint but often if you don’t take things to a manager your solving them goes unnoticed and your clever decision making is superfluous, it is a fine line between irritating and impressing your manager and that line can vary wildly depending on the individual but generally speaking when combined with common sense the LPT holds true

  4. Management Perspective – I AM NOT currently a manager, over the past 20 years I have bounced back and forth between employer/employee in different companies, combined roughly 8 years as a manager and 12 years as an employee, I am not complaining about my current situation, I am very happy.

Happy Life

Author Happy Life

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