From the Ask Tom mailbag –
Comment from yesterday’s post about the Open Door:
Right on! Only one more simple thing that will make it perfect — you hit a bit on it but I will expand as it works wonders. Put a sign up that says No Questions – in other words when you come to my office, don’t ask a question, tell me the issue and tell me what you intend to do. I will either say ok or we will discuss if I think it necessary. People come to you mindlessly and ask questions, you answer them thinking you are helping, they leave your office without taking ownership of the results – you told me to do this – they learn nothing and they feel you want them to come to you with all questions, because you don’t trust them to do the right thing. It is a vicious cycle. Simply, don’t answer any more questions.
I saw this on a manager’s desk, a little sign sitting by a pad of pre-printed 3×5 sheets. The sign said –
- I know you have a question, but before we discuss it, please take this sheet and meet me in the conference room in ten minutes.
And on the pad of pre-printed 3×5 sheets –
- What’s the problem?
- What’s the cause of the problem?
- What are the alternative solutions?
- What is the best solution?
So, what do you think happened when the manager met the team member in the conference room?