Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Downshifting Caretaker Instincts to Improve Leadership Mentoring is as Easy as 1-2-3!

Cary Sylvester, Executive Director of Technology for Williams Reality International, hit a cord with me on a   “Just for a Moment” podcast when she described a frequent leadership mistake:  taking care of everyone’s problems (http://justforamomentpodcast.com/wordpress/archives/date/2011/04/04) .   
When someone has come into your office with a problem, how many times have you said “I’ll take care of it.”  Ok, I confess, I’ve done that!  But how does this grow self-sufficiency and confidence in those you are supposed to be mentoring?  And in the long run how much damage does it do in getting your work done?
Instead, Sylvester recommends:
1.       Acknowledge the problem
2.       Discuss the issues, and
3.       Give ownership for solving the problem back to the employee. 
Is downshifting caretaker instincts as easy as 1-2-3?  What’s your experience?