ObservationTry allowing the person to take a while to shadow a colleague and observe them carrying out a task. Neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and social learning theory both agree that as humans, it is in our nature to learn by observing others do something and then trying it for ourselves. When you are managing a large number of people, who have a wide range of skills, delegating support and training among the team like this is a great way to go about it.
StorytellingThis can be a much better way of helping someone with a problem than just explaining to them. Consider an experience you have had, or know someone else has had, that can compare to the situation at hand, and explain how that person managed to overcome the difficulty. From this, the person is able to explore the situation, and take what they deem to be valuable from your story, rather than having their approach dictated to them. Not only is this good for problem solving, it builds rapport and boosts working relationships.
MultichoiceIf you are struggling to think of a creative or more independent way for a person to solve a problem, try a classic multichoice approach and give them several different options to apply. This way, you can still offer support to the person without doing the work for them, and it encourages them to explore the options themselves and consider what would be the best solution for them. By making the person do at least half the work themselves when problem solving, you allow them to build character and own their decisions.
Manage emotionsSometimes, the situation calls for a more hands-on approach when an employee is experiencing problems, which is why it is important to gauge the scenario properly before offering a solution. If a situation is a particularly emotional one – say, the person is angry or frustrated – it is important to defuse this turmoil before moving on to solving the problem. Any of the solutions suggested here could be received as rejection and prove irritating in an already emotional situation, so make everybody’s wellbeing the priority and play it by ear. Problems are even harder to solve if someone is not feeling their best, so take steps to manage emotions before anything else.
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