With the many problems we face in our life and work, we sometimes don’t have enough time to solve each one of those issues without experiencing several hardships during the process. And at the rate problems keep escalating, many of us usually tend to take shortcuts to assuage the problems temporarily, simply because we can start focusing on the next problem. Thus, we always leave behind the root of each problem, which eventually turns out to be a never-ending cycle. If this sounds familiar, it’s not just you: your boss experiences the same.
If you wish to be valued at the workplace, try bringing solutions to your boss, rather than bringing problems. They already have too many problems to solve, so instead of introducing a new problem to them, be a solution-generating employee and see how your value increases to the company as a whole. So if you want to help your boss in his or her success, and in turn make them want to support yours, here are some steps to make it happen:
How to Communicate with Your Boss Effectively
Open communication is essential for problem solving, which basically involves the free expression of everyone’s perspectives and concerns. When you don’t speak up at the right time, it becomes a lot more difficult for your boss to get to the core of the problem. Even if your boss hesitates to speak up about the problem for some reason, and you know that you can help them in some way, start communicating. Make him or her believe that they can trust you, your intentions are good, and they are safe to share their points of view about why the problem emergent in the first place. Once you discuss the issue together, frame a path toward the feasible solution.
One of the easiest yet effective ways to help your boss solve a problem is to give them the direction. Inform them what needs to be done, precisely. Above all, take control to put the plan into action. However, for this to go smoothly, you need to put the right words in your mouth.
For instance, try saying: “I’ve observed that the ABC issue keeps arising on our team and a solution is yet to be found. I know you’re concerned, but are too busy to take the necessary steps. So unless you have a different approach, my plan to handle it would be following the steps X, Y and Z. And is there anyone else you need involved in solving this?”
After all, someone has to step forward and tell others, including the bosses, exactly what should be done to solve a problem. Of course, your boss may rebut, saying, “But I have a different idea!” Well, at least you are progressing towards finding a solution, rather than hiding out.
Be a Positive Influence
To be an effective problem solver, you need to work with your team, for which you should first get along with them. There is always one team member who works to make things easier for other in the team; supports other individuals’ success; looks for ways to work with others to complete tasks; and doesn’t create tension. These are qualities that any boss will appreciate. Try to be that person in your team, which will demonstrate to your boss that you are a good individual to have around, a positive influence to the team, and capable of performing and achieving more. This is one way of helping solve a problem because your boss will not have to spend efforts and time dealing with the difficulties in the team, when he or she needs to focus on something more important so play your role as a problem solver.
Give Away the Credit
Many leaders or bosses usually tend to ignore viable solutions to problems simply because they want it to be their idea. One fundamental quality of a good problem solver is they find joy in solving a problem. So, as an effective problem solver, be ready to happily give away the credit of problem solving to your boss if you think it will help move the team forward. Don’t be concerned about not receiving the credit or recognition; in a workplace, there are always new problems to be solved.
Make the Life of Your Boss Easier
This is perhaps the last, but best, thing you can do. Most bosses get a feeling that their employees are fixated only on their own success and careers. As an employee, start thinking about ways to support your boss in solving a problem and achieving success, and offer to do the same. Get to your boss with simple suggestions that can help him or her save time, and of course, also think about the bigger problems and come up with effective approaches that enable you to get things done together. It is this support of yours which will make your boss want to support you.