Why Most Managers Should Quit Their Job Today

Here’s a painful paradox. Managers create the very problems they try to avoid. That’s why it’s time for you to quit your job. No, I’m not suggesting to hand in your resignation letter but to resign from your toxic role as Chief Problem Solver.

Imagine this. You’re at your desk, and you receive an email, a text, or a call from one of your employees looking for your help.

With only the best of intentions, you listen to the problem and in a nanosecond, think it’s easier and more efficient to tell them what to do, since the same solution worked for you.

Let’s pause for a moment. I’ve never met a manager who doesn’t want a team of independent, accountable, confident salespeople. Conversely, when continually solving their problems, think about the precedent you’re setting.

First, you’re creating a dependent team by setting the precedent, “If you have a problem, come to me and I’ll fix it so you don’t have to.”

Second, you’re robbing them of personal accountability. Think about it. If the directive solution you provided doesn’t work, whose fault is it? Yours!

Now your people will tell you, “Hey boss. I did what you told me to do, and it didn’t work. It’s not my fault, it’s YOURS.”

Congratulations! You’ve successfully made their problem YOUR problem, robbed them of the accountability you want to instill, and now, YOU’RE accountable for the outcome!

Finally, the most costly of implications is the chief problem solver, the erosion of trust and confidence. Many of your employees will be thinking, “I guess my manager doesn’t trust me and my ideas. I guess they don’t think I can do my job.”

How do you think this is impacting their confidence? That’s when I hear,

“Coaching feels more like manipulation and directive management than being valued. If this is coaching, I don’t want to be coached!

Stop robbing people of the feeling of satisfaction you experience from working through a problem on your own.  Give this gift to your people so you can watch them grow, and build their confidence, while you get hours back of your time each day, since they’re no longer coming to you with the same problems.

If you have time to give an answer, you have the time to ask a question and coach.

If being the Chief Problem Solver is so costly, then why do managers feel they must fix every problem, have all the answers and do other people’s job? For these three main reasons.

First, most managers would assume the value they bring to their team and the company is being the Subject Matter Expert. After all, that’s why you were hired in the first place, right?

Second, you believe being the CPS is what your people expect from you! And if you don’t deliver, you’re not doing your job or fear becoming redundant!

Third, you believe it’s faster to give an answer than taking the time to coach.

They Aren’t You

This mindset is responsible for creating the most coaching failures, coaching in your own image! Instead of tapping into people’s personalities, personal goals, skills, talents and individuality, managers are building mini-me’s’, robots, and clones of themselves, assuming how people like to be managed, motivated, coached and even held accountable.

Hey, it’s not all the manager’s fault. We work in metrics-obsessed organizations. Consequently, this insatiable drive for hitting quota and business objectives breeds a result-driven culture and an army of super-sellers where fear and uncertainty are the dominant motivators today.

How to Coach Using One Question

What if, instead of acting as the Chief Problem Solver, what if you can empower people to resolve their own challenges and become their own Chief Problem Solvers, using just ONE QUESTION?

Intrigued? Here’s the scenario. Susanne, one of your employees contacts you in need of help. It seems one of the sales she was counting on to hit quota is now asking for a discount.

Here’s your defining moment. Are you going to solve their problem and move on to the next, or instead, use this approach.

I’m happy to share my opinion with you, Susanne. However, you’re much closer to this (client/situation) than I am, and I trust you and your judgment on this.”

“What’s your opinion on how to (resolve this, achieve your desired results, etc.)?”

Finally, you’re not asking for a solution, answer, or strategy, as those can be right or wrong. Instead, you’re asking for their opinion.

Opinions are not to be judged. They are not right or wrong but that person’s truth. And since everyone has an opinion, you will always get a response, avoiding the, “I don’t know boss” conversation trap where managers then take the bait and provide a solution.

The Three Universal Coaching Gaps

Now in every conversation, when asking for their opinion, there will only be three types of gaps in the solutions they provide.

First, it’s a fully baked solution. If they share a solution that can work, then let them run with it!

Secondly, they share a half-baked solution or one that, with the ingredients they used, you know is not going to achieve what they need.

Or finally, they provide a solution that’s not baked at all, and know the ideas they shared will not achieve their desired results.

If you find yourself in situations two and three, here’s how to respond so they feel safe and supported, avoid making them wrong, and continue a coaching dialogue.

Thanks for sharing your opinion, I really appreciate it. Let’s walk through your ideas to see how they could work out. Then together, create the most effective solution that will achieve the results you want.”

Collaborate Rather Than Interrogate

Now, you’re being collaborative rather than directive. You’re having a conversation not conducting an interrogation. Since you can no longer complain about now having time to coach, start using this strategy in your next conversation!

 If you have time to give an answer, you have the time to ask a question and coach.

If you really want to prove your worth, then realize your primary objective as a manager is to make your people more valuable every day. That starts with making yourself more valuable by transforming into a world-class coach.