Do you ever get frustrated with constant interruptions from your team?
How many times a day does someone on your team come and interrupt you with a question like "Hey, do you got a minute?" Probably happens a lot more than you like, right?
Let's face it - it's never a minute. It's always four or five plus or however long it takes you to get back to the task once you remember what you were doing in the first place before you got interrupted, right? These little interruptions can end up absorbing our entire day and keeping us from getting done what's most important for you to be focusing on in your business.
I'm going to share with you a strategy that will help you eliminate it or at least reduce the amount of time these interruptions are taking, and eventually eliminate these interruptions all together.
Take a step back and ask for something when our team comes and interrupt us. They know we're busy. We'll probably ask them not to interrupt us at all but they continue to come and look to us for answers.
Well, the simple answer is because we've trained them to do. Whether we know it or not, we've trained them to come to us for answers.
Now, you might be thinking "Well, I haven't! I've asked them not to interrupt me. I don't want these interruptions."
So, here's the litmus test. If a member of your team comes to you and says, "Hey, I'm having a challenge with this. What do you think?" And if you give them the answer, that's your training moment. You are training them to continually inundate you with requests for answers. You are now the person they go to that come and save the day. They don't have to think, right?
So here's the strategy.
The next time the team member comes to you with a question and they don't have a solution or an answer, don't give them an answer. Send them back and say, "Hey, look, take a couple of minutes and then come back with me with 3 potential solutions that we can select and discuss."
So why three solutions? It's easy to come up with one on the spot and its probably not going to be your best one. If we get into a second solution now, we're starting to get the thinking going. But when we get to the third one, we are actually using some creativity to come up with this third idea. We're upgrading and getting that creativity and problem-solving wheels turning in our heads or their heads.
The reason why you don't want to have your team members do it right there with you is because you've got more important things to do. They can go away and think on their own and then come back with 3 potential solutions to discuss and this can be a faster conversation between the two of you. One of them is probably a good idea and you could help them choose the answer from their ideas. And then off they go and you don't have to do any thinking, right?
With this strategy, you're training them to think and solve problems. You're also training them that the next time they come to you with a challenge they have to bring in solutions to the table. That's what we want them to do. They are thinking ahead of time, thus, saving your time from interruptions.
Now over time, you're going to find that your team members probably have some really good ideas and good solutions to the challenges that they're facing. Over time, you're just going to get to the point and just say "Go to option B!" or "Go to option A because that sounds great! The next time this thing comes up, I want you to come up with your three ideas. But then, I want you to execute on one solution that you think is the best. I've got your back if anything goes wrong, obviously within some parameters."
This is how you empower them. You're going to start training them to build their own confidence and their decision-making ability which could also eliminate those interruptions for you.
Don't give your team answers. Request from them solutions that they can bring to you so you could discuss and help them get involved with thinking in the problem solving process.
I hope you have a great week not giving out answers, but requesting solutions.