“But, that’s just wrong,” Jeffrey pressed. “I tell my team what’s wrong and then tell them to fix it. It’s up to them how. I am not going to spoon-feed the solution. I want them to figure it out.”
“And, when you tell them something is wrong, what state of mind have you left them in?” I asked.
“I hope the state of mind is urgency. When they screw up, they need to fix it and fix it fast,” he replied.
“Exactly. And, how does that state of mind contribute to the quality of the solution?”
Jeffrey chuckled. “You’re right. Most of the time, the team acts like a deer in headlights, frozen, unable to move, no alternatives, no solutions.”
“Does the way you state a problem have an impact on the way people approach a solution? Is there a more productive state of mind you could leave with the team other than something is wrong, someone is to blame and there will be a price to pay.”
“But, I want them to know that mistakes are serious,” Jeffrey pushed back.
“And, does that get you closer to a solution or does it stop solution-finding in its tracks? In what way could we restate the problem, to be accurate in our observations, without laying blame, promoting a sense of teamwork, generating alternatives and selecting the best solution?”