Do you bring problems or solutions?

Do you bring problems or solutions?

This is a classic phrase , mostly with the managers of a traditional mindset. However, this phrase, “Come to me with a solution (or options), and not with problems” can also be debatable. 

Look, any good manager would want his or her team members to apply critical thinking and spend time on thinking through possible solutions. Such a manager also wants their teams to take more responsibility and accountability of their work instead of being spoon-fed by their manager. So, hearing this phrase from a good manager should give you an idea of their support to their teams.

On the other hand, lazy and incompetent managers can use this phrase to avoid responsibility. If team members come up with options which, together they often can, then the manager’s job is only to choose the one which suits them. Easy! Isn’t it?

Sometimes, an organisation’s culture also doesn’t let the managers delegate responsibility. When managers do not delegate powers, employees do not feel empowered to even suggest options or solutions of problems. Even worse is, in such cultures even when employees have to come up solutions, they find something that aligns more with managers’ opinion than being a good solution.