If you lead a software team, and a team member has a problem, you may be
tempted to solve it. Maybe you shouldn’t.
This is an opportunity for more than a solved problem.
Your analytical self wants to solve problems. Instead of simply providing a
solution, see the problem as an opportunity to improve your empathetic self.
The team member with the problem wants to be heard and understood. So, hear and
understand them. Then, invest in them by coaching on a process for solving the
Instead of giving them a fish, teach them to fish.
This is a display of empathy, which will inspire trust. It is an investment in
the team member’s development.
This way, the problem gets solved and you get more from the resolution. The
benefits are: You exercise your ability to empathize. You inspire trust and
therefore possibly increase your social influence. The investment in
individual development contributes to a more engaged team.
Of course, sometimes it is best simply to solve the problem.