I’m sure no manager ever intentionally sets out to make his or her people dumb and stupid. Unfortunately, that’s what happens when we give our people the answers to their problems, without helping them help themselves to fix the problems.
Sometimes we have to use a little bit of tough love to encourage each of our people to start to think more for themselves. Let’s face it. It’s easy coming to you and asking you for the answer. You’ve been there before and you know most probably how to answer their question. However, none of us do our people any favors when we give them the answers, rather than encourage them to think for themselves.
Next time when one of your team members comes to you with a problem, stop for a moment and look at them with a studious look. Then, say something like this; “You know, that’s a really good question. So, what do you think the answer is?”
By refusing to give them a quick answer, and by encouraging them to come up with at least one or two possible solutions themselves, you’re helping your people think for themselves – and that’s one of the most important skills you can develop within your team.