Resolving Their Problems Equals Lazy Employees

lazy, procrastination, initiative

Resolving Their Problems Equals Lazy Employees

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lazy, procrastination, initiative

What? By resolving their problems I am creating lazy employees? How? That doesn’t make sense?

I know, that’s the answer I usually get. This is because even after we have trained a person or given them the information they need – they don’t always apply it, use it, or understand it. However providing them with answers instead of asking questions, helping them find the solution – we are creating lazy employees.

Let’s walk through this using Fred (your employee) as an example:

Fred:  Mary Smith at ABC just called asking about our new service. What should I tell her?

You:  For her company the new service would allow them to have access to our project reports on demand instead of waiting for you to fill her in on what’s happening.

Fred:  Great. What does she need to do in order to get the access and what does it cost.

You:  (explain in detail what needs to be done and the cost).

At this point you are most likely thinking, great Fred has the information and will pass it along. Which he will until Ms. Smith from ABC has more questions and he is back in your office asking more questions.

At this point Fred is thinking, this is great – I ask the question and he gives me the answer. Why should I have to try to remember anything, think for myself, or try to learn about the new service.  No effort needed hence the “lazy employee”.

Now to turn it around.  First, this only works if your employees have been properly trained and have a working knowledge  of your products/services. If they don’t, it’s a training issue.

Let’s take the same conversation and change you response.

Fred:  Mary Smith at ABC just called asking about our new service. What should I tell her?

You:  Great to hear. What did you tell her? Does she has specific questions.

Fred:  I told her, I’m not sure how she and her company could use it.

You:  Interesting. Why do you say that?

Fred: (give an answer)

You:  (keep asking questions trying to get Fred to find the solution).

Do you see how this conversation with questions instead of answers, this allows your employees to create their knowledge, explore possibilities, and determine the best solutions for the customer.

Which employee would you rather have?

This is only one example of a coaching leadership style. Interested in developing this style for yourself? Reach out to me at or 773.531.8199