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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
Author Stephen Balzac offers ways businesses can increase revenue and attract more clients.
Problem Solving and Mistakes
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By Stephen Balzac
Author Stephen Balzac offers ways businesses can increase revenue and attract more clients with his 7 Steps Ahead philosophy. Whether you're trying to hire the right people or get your team on track, this is the place for accurate, useful ...
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Author Stephen Balzac offers ways businesses can increase revenue and attract more clients with his 7 Steps Ahead philosophy. Whether you're trying to hire the right people or get your team on track, this is the place for accurate, useful information. Stephen is an expert on leadership and organizational development, a consultant and professional speaker, and author of \x34The 36-Hour Course in Organizational Development,\x34 published by McGraw-Hill, and a contributing author to volume one of \x34Ethics and Game Design: Teaching Values Through Play.\x34 Contact Steve at steve@7stepsahead.com.
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By steve
Aug. 9, 2013 11:05 a.m.



This is an excerpt from my upcoming book, Organizational Psychology for Managers

Teams that don’t work when the manager isn’t around are legion. It’s a common problem, and common wisdom suggests that the team members lack motivation or are trying to goof off: when the cat’s away, and all that.

Common wisdom may sound good, but is often wrong. This is no exception.

Groups can get stuck when the leader becomes the chief problem solver. While it may seem efficient for a leader who is also an expert in the domain to quickly solve problems and instruct the team on what to do, this approach again has the drawback of not enabling the team to develop the necessary skills and confidence in those skills. If the team doesn’t think it can do the job, or isn’t willing to try, then it doesn’t matter how skillful they are at decision making and it doesn’t matter how clear the goals are. It’ll merely be that much clearer to them that they cannot do it. It may be necessary for leaders to walk through the problem solving process in front of their team and it will certainly be necessary for leaders to moderate the process.

Basically, teams need to solve problems as a team. This includes making the inevitable mistakes along the way. It is the act of making mistakes, learning from the experience, and moving on that enables the team to truly develop not just confidence in its skills but resilience as well. Without that experience, team confidence is brittle and team members considerably less willing to explore innovative solutions to problems. The broader organization’s cultural attitudes towards mistakes is going to play a significant role here.

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