Making Yourself a Better Boss: Analyzing!

When your staff comes to you for help, what do they really want from you? Do they want a glib, pat answer that mimics the corporate doctrine or are they better served when you allow them to bounce ideas and issues around with you (listening skills!)?

Are you open to listening to their ideas without initially trying to fix any issues? Spend time “helping” them probe around the issues: what facts do they have or know, what is conjecture, what are the assumptions, any associated constraints, and — most importantly — what do they think they should do or work on next? Help them develop their own analysis skills!

Analysis skills are best honed with practice.

Get involved with your staff and associates, listen and probe for boundaries, assist them when they ask, and watch over them as they develop.

The old proverb (ad libbed somewhat) “give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach this man to fish, he eats everyday” can also be construed as “give them the answer, they will always want an answer; teach them analysis, they will come to you less.”

Mentor them in the way of mind… your padawans may surprise you!

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