Offering a solution or idea is only half of the equation

Have you made that phone call to the supervisor to explain an issue you are having and then you get the response, “What do you want to do?” It did not take long for me to figure out my supervisor was actually developing me for the opportunity to be a leader. I might not have always had the best response; nonetheless I had a response to provide at least one solution. One of the best tools to use when developing this decision making ability is discussion among others during “what if” sessions. During these opportunities each person can play out different scenarios without the stress of live circumstances. The more options that you can work through prior to the real life situation will increase your odds of making the correct decision when it is all on the line.

Another alternative when dealing with any industry is to read. Anyone can surf the internet, read magazine articles, even read policy and procedure as it applies. It’s important to read material so you are well informed and can discuss recent industry events and changes with your co-workers, supervisors, and management. Information is power. Reading articles about real situations not only provides us with feedback on what worked and didn’t work, but we can learn from these real life successes and failures.

Offering a solution or idea is only half of the equation and many supervisors feel an idea without an action plan will only create more work for them. Share ideas with context and a clear path for implementation for the leader to evaluate. The more you present any issues with recommended solutions and then implement those solutions in a timely and effective manner, the more the leadership team will rely on you and think about you for future projects and new responsibilities. There will be instances when the opportunity to run your solution past a supervisor will not present itself. In spite of this using the tools mentioned, not only will you be more confident in your abilities, but those around you will be more confident as well with your solutions.

For more information contact Becky Wolfe, Leadership Butler at, website