“Bring solutions, not problems” – Not quite

“Bring solutions, not problems”

We say this to our folks as a way to push them onto being solution-oriented.

We also need to stop doing this to people. This is a form of shaming people into silence.

We treat addressing problems as bad and bringing solutions as good. Without a solution, someone is labeled or treated as a complainer.

Those with power that make the decision for a process rarely experience the process themselves. Their power cushions them from the impact of their decisions.

When something isn’t working or is ineffective, the frontline people who work in that process feel it daily, especially when it creates barriers and challenges.

It’s perfectly acceptable to address just the problem and why the problem even exists.

When it comes to solutions, sometimes people don’t know what they don’t know. Frontline folks also don’t share the same power and authority that decision makers have in solutions. Some people don’t bring solutions because they don’t feel heard.

It’s also important to understand the problem is caused by the leaders who didn’t include the frontline workers in the first place. Team members should not have to clean up the mess of leaders.

None of that should not be a reason to not speak up. We lose valuable perspective and insight when pressured to suggest solutions.

If you want solutions: empower and develop your people, create psychological safety and collaborate with them on the processes.

Power moves people.


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