What every manager is praying their employees will do
The best advice I’ve heard for interns and junior team members
One reason startups are difficult places to work, besides the crushing workloads and lack of resources, is that people are doing things for the very first time.
So, when people come to me asking how to solve a problem, honestly, my first thought is often “I don’t know.” After all, the person working on the project has just as much — if not more — information. I hear them out, then ask, “What do you think we should do?”
If they don’t have an answer, it feels frustrating because it seems like they want me to do the problem solving for them.
Chief Product Manager at FinTech Startup Climb Credit, Sara Jeruss, has another, better, way to approach your manager with a problem. Make a decision and then check in. For example, the template is, “I think we should do XYZ, and this is why…” It offers a proposed solution and shows that you’ve considered other options.
If you use this approach, you will be viewed as extremely competent. This is basically what every manager is praying their employees will do.
Then, one of two things will happen. Either your boss will say, yes sounds good and then you can do what you want to do. Or your boss will tell you what they want you to do. (Which is what you wanted to know in the first place.) Either way, you get credit for being a problem solver.