This week, I noticed one of my team members was struggling. I know this woman is super sharp and hard-working, so I was surprised. My natural response is to push harder. I turned into one of those tourists who speaks louder when a local can't understand their Spanglish. I'm sure you can predict how effective that was.
Then I was reminded of two of the best pieces of management advice I've ever received:
Always assume the best intent. People want to do a great job.
When something is going wrong on your team, look in the mirror first.
So instead of pushing, I became curious. What was up? How can I be contributing to this issue? This conversation helped us identify a few small tweaks that helped her be a rockstar again. Of course, I was also contributing to the issue.
So today, instead of butting your head against an issue for the umpteenth time. Get curious. Ask instead of assuming. And, be humble - a problem is rarely one-way.