You’re a fixer. A problem-solver. A “Here’s how you do it” kind of person. That’s what managers, supervisors and bosses do.
Which is all well and good, unless you’re fixing the wrong situation, solving the wrong problem, and doing a “Here’s how you do it” on the wrong circumstance.
Too often, you’re in a hurry to get to the “fix” so you don’t necessarily go that one step further to investigate if you’re fixing what needs fixing.
For example, your employee interrupts during team meetings, which disrupts the flow of the meeting and upsets the other team members. You take said employee aside and tell him/her: “Look you can’t interrupt while others are talking during meetings. OK? Wait until the person is done talking, and then it’s your turn.” There. Problem solved.
Of course, the employee still interrupts, even though it’s obvious he or she is trying not to, and at this point, you decide your employee has a difficult personality, and take them off the team.
What might a little bit of investigating have yielded? And what would that have looked like?
Just one more question: “I’ve noticed you interrupt during meetings. What’s that about for you?” So you could listen to the answer: “I have trouble remembering my thoughts if I don’t say them right away.” A very different problem, to which you can give a far more appropriate “fix.” It’s not about “Stop interrupting,” it’s about “Here’s what you can do to keep thoughts in mind.”
Often, all you need to do is ask your employee what something is about for them (not “why do you do that” which simply pushes people’s buttons), to find the true problem that will yield to your successful solution.