This is a true story – heard every day – from all walks of life. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty.

Jane could be a co- worker, student, direct report, family member – actually anyone in your life.

In this version – she is a customer service rep trying to keep your customers happy.

You – you are the boss.

Jane gets calls and problems from customers.

She comes to you for solutions.

There is a backlog of decisions for you to make.

Jane is frustrated.

Everyone keeps pressing her for answers you have not yet given to her to give to them.

If you are like most people, you are wishing someone else could make some of these decisions. BUT you’re afraid to trust their solutions, so you hope there will be an end to the madness soon.

What if you used a tool from the sports world? What if you created a play book so that Jane can study the plays, practice them and run them on her own?

No time to make a play book?

Then what about this idea?

The next time Jane comes to you with a question –
don’t answer it.

Instead – ask her a question.

For example – “Well Jane – what do you think is the best way to handle this?”

If you like her answer – congratulate her.

If not – make suggestions for improvement.

It may take several times for her to master each play, but with patience, you will reap the rewards:
1. Your customers will get quicker answers.
2. Jane will be more independent.
3. Her morale and self-confidence will grow.
4. She will be more confident in your leadership, because will no longer be a bottle neck.
5. You can even end up with a valuable play book IF you or Jane will write down each situation and approved solution along the way.
6. And – once Jane and team have mastered the plays, you can take a break from the game,leave a winning team on the field and be confident of a happy ending.

How do I know all of this?

Because I have BEEN the bottleneck.

Go ahead. Coach THEM to run the plays. You will love it. And they will too!

Author's Bio: 

Jan has thirty years of sales and management experience and loves sharing it (plus her love for solving problems and for making work fun) with others so that they can get through tough situations, make big goals and celebrate these achievements.

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