Success Habit #10  Take solutions to your manager, rather than problems to your lunch room


It is well known at the senior management level that employees who always bring problems to their manager will not rise in an organisation. The issue is quite simple.

Management don’t want problems – they want solutions but so many workers take their problems to their manager, who doesn’t seem to care and then they take them to the lunch room.

This is the wrong decision on both counts.

Firstly, your manager needs to know what issues are occurring for you in the discharge of your duties, especially those that may impact performance.

What they don’t need is a constant stream of issues or problems presented without any indication of a solution. This is akin to the lazy cat constantly complaining about the mouse problem. Think about it – would you promote that person?

Secondly, talking with your workmates about issues or problems you are experiencing in the lunch room usually has no positive outcome and generally has several damaging outcomes.

Your workmates may not tell you this but they don’t want to hear about your issues, especially if it will impact their department.

It impacts on business morale and it also reduces your personal stock value, as others notice you are always negative. Think about it – who would you rather lunch with?

How can you avoid this happening to you?

When you have an issue or problem that arises that you feel will impact on your performance or your team’s performance follow these simple steps:

Got a PROBLEM? – Go to PARIS!

I don’t mean take a holiday to the French capital city, although that would probably solve the issue for you at least, I mean use the acronym P-A-R-I-S for solving your problems.

PPerspective: put the problem into perspective get a helicopter view of the overall task.

AAlternatives: look for alternative ways to achieve the same or similar outcome.

RResources: see what resources you could allocate/reallocate to overcome the issue.

I Impacts: understand the impact of the issue and the potential impacts of alternatives.

SSolutions: determine the best possible solution in concert with your manager.

There are other older acronyms for solving problems that you may have come across in your journey, like PACE – Problem, Alternatives, Consequences, Evaluation.

My difficulty with PACE is that it doesn’t always end in a solution and that’s what solving problems is all about.

You may have used the RACE CAR or RUCSAC acronyms back in high school that focus more on written explanations of problem solving.

I couldn’t find one I liked, so I invented my own. Now when I have a problem – I go to PARIS!

If you go to PARIS every time you are confronted with an issue or problem, you will be able to take solutions to your manager and be more like the proud cat that lays the dead mouse at their owner’s feet.

Additionally, in the lunch room you can share stories with your workmates about how you went to PARIS! in order to solve this problem you had earlier or how you had to go to PARIS! yesterday to fix up an issue.

No more whinging about problems – just stories of success and solutions.
Now, you tell me….

Who would you rather lunch with? And who would you more likely promote?