5 Questions that Eliminate Management Fatigue
Hey everybody. This is Dr. George Birnbach and today we’re talking about management. We’re talking about laziness and why laziness in our teams rarely ever exists, you know, but unseen barriers do. Let me show you my system for that.
You see, management isn’t just about asking people to do things. If you think management is about just directing actions of other people, you’re missing out on one of the fundamental components of what management actually is, of being a manager of both processes and people. If you’ve hired with any degree of effectiveness, you will have hired smart people with creative minds. People are much more creative than we usually give them credit for honestly, you know, look at some of the excuses people come up with for rationalizing their own issues, failures inconsistencies, or their own drama. They’re very creative, aren’t they?
So, think about this really creative people in good times or bad times rarely respond to being told to anything, let alone work they don’t want to do. Management becomes challenging because the transition from being a solo to being a manager is very hard. One day all you have to do is worry about your work and then another day comes along and now you have to worry about your work and other people’s work. Does that make sense? You’re now responsible for other people’s actions, learning styles, work ethics and personalities, the way you put your staff together.
This problem can become toxic when the manager extricates themselves from the group and names the group. ‘Ah well, my team is unruly or lazy or they take ownership of the group. My office is the best office ever we crush all the other offices or my billing department, that’s my guys’ and they start talking about their team as it’s like their favorite little stepchild well, if you get into this model, all you’re doing is really damaging the management culture of your office and that’s a big problem.
So in the first case, you’ve created an it’s you versus them model and in the second case, you’ve created it’s you and them against the rest of the office model and how can either of those not end up toxic, right, and create a culture that that breaks. Well, managers tend to think the team members aren’t committed when there are problems.
They show personal leadership failures or accountability failures, but the team members they look at you as the manager and they start to think that they need more support more resources, I need more recognition and neither side is really right or wrong specifically, but to rebuild the management culture inside of your office, one that will avoid these dramas, has to start with a stronger investigation model and that’s a model that is taught before any action is actually given so you see laziness or incompetence rarely exist because you wouldn’t have hired that into your office unless you made a mistake and then you fix that mistake with re-staffing right, but what do exist are unforeseen obstacles, right? People are in the groove. They’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They hit an obstacle and people usually don’t move past that obstacle because they weren’t taught to think about it the right way.
So, I teach a very simple model that you can use in any situation whether it’s your problem or someone else’s problems. Let me show you, it’s five questions, well, plus one.
The first is, is this actually a problem? Someone comes to me, ‘Hey, the computer’s not working.’ Well, is it actually a problem? Well in that case, yeah, it’s probably a real problem but first, is this actually a problem? If it’s not you can ignore it move on don’t waste your effort, energy or you know resources on it but if it is a problem moved to question two, can I answer this myself? I would look at a staff member.’ Hey, so the problems broken right the computers broken. Can you fix it yourself?’ If they can fix it themselves just empower them to do it and then teach them, number three, to make sure that their solution moves your office towards your bigger stated goal. So how is fixing up that problem going to fix our big vision that we have in this office this year?
Exlain what they’re going to do in a transparent way before they actually do it. That way we know that the solution is going to get solved, their learning in the process to solve it in the future without your involvement.
Those are the big four. So, let’s go through them again. Number one, Is this problem actually a problem? Number two, can I quickly solve this myself or can you quickly solve this yourself?
Now, if you get a no to any of these four, then we’re going to use our fifth question, which is how can I help you? How can I help you shows that you’re involved with them you’re walking with them. You’re just doing different jobs, okay?
Remember the job descriptions are just a list of what you do during the day, right? But the illusion of culture inside of an office has to be that you’re all working towards the same goal or it breaks down. So the fifth one we call the get out of jail question because any time things are breaking all I need you to do is stop and say how can I help you? And then if my answer is, I need this. Now we have two smart people on the problem and I can say well I can do that or I can’t do that but this is what I can do or I can’t do that but maybe you can go ask Aaron about doing that and that’ll work out really good or if you don’t know how to do it, who else can we get to help solve this problem?
So, your first four questions in any situation, hey, I’ve got a problem. Is it really a problem? Can you solve it easily right now? Do you know how to solve it yourself? Right, that’s number two. How solving this moves us towards our corporate culture. Do you understand that? Great, can you explain to me the process you’re going to take in order to move this forward?
As a manager you’re empowering your team to act, to solve and to remove you of the process in the future and that’s really what you want and if at any time you get a no, how can I help you? Which is one of the best questions to bond a team together.
Alright, my name is Dr. George Birnbach, I hope this works for you. Go put it into practice, I bet you’re going to see some great results.