While it may seem counterintuitive, being “lazy” can actually be beneficial, at least, when it comes to doling out advice. Many leaders focus on being the person with all of the answers, but jumping in and offering insight might actually harm your employees, and productivity, over the long-term. Here are a few reasons why embracing a little laziness can be a good thing.
By not jumping in with an answer, you are actually encouraging your workers to solve their own problems instead of perpetuating a cycle of advice seeking. Instead of providing a solution, consider asking the employee questions to help them organize their thoughts and supporting them in developing an answer on their own. This also increases their level of ownership over the issue, as providing clear direction blurs the lines of responsibility should something go awry.
When you ask questions instead of providing answers and work to empower your employees, you actually promote the development of a range of skills. Your workers will be able to improve their problem-solving and creative-thinking skills, while also learning self-reliance.
In most cases, developing these skills requires practice, so helping your team learn how to think through the problem benefits everyone involved. Ultimately, this helps your staff to be more effective in their positions, regardless of whether you are available to offer insight into the matter.
As a leader, you’re likely a bit pressed for time. While offering advice may seem quick on the surface, it can actually cost you more time in the long run as it encourages your workers to turn to you every time they have an issue, no matter how small.
By encouraging them to work through problems on their own, you increase the odds that they will find a solution themselves, which means you don’t have to get involved unless the situation truly calls for your input. While it can take time for your staff to get used to the paradigm, over time, it means you can concentrate more on your tasks and less on giving advice.
Now, this doesn’t mean your employees should be discouraged from asking you questions, as some points really do require input from management. Instead, it’s about setting expectations regarding which issues should be presented and when they should pursue solutions on their own, or as a team. Use questions to teach your staff how to work through problems as they arise as, when their skills improve, they’ll be more likely to find answers on their own. This helps you build a stronger, more efficient team, enhancing productivity and even morale.
If you would like to learn more or are interested in bringing on a new hire to join your team, the professionals at Bayside Solutions have the expertise to assist. Contact us today to see how our knowledge and experience can work for you.