Say These 7 Words When Employees Bring You Their Problems

When employees bring you bad news, the best option you have for a response is to ask “what is your plan for solving this issue?” This seven word phrase helps address the serious problem revealed by a survey of 27,000 respondents that found that most employees don’t feel like their leaders respond constructively on a consistent basis. However, the 23 percent who say their leaders do always respond constructively are much more satisfied with their jobs. It avoids shooting the messenger and starts a conversation oriented towards a solution.

Reflect on these key points:

  • 1Polling shows that less than a quarter of bosses respond constructively when employees present problems.
  • 2Although notoriously unproductive as a solution, there are bosses that give into a ‘blame the messenger’ mentality.
  • 3By asking an employee what they believe the solution should be you are inviting them to have autonomy and showing faith in their critical thinking skills.

“But as much as the wrong approach risks losing the ACME account, the wrong response also risks ruining the effectiveness, accountability and future growth of your employee.”

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