Is “don’t bring me problems” actually a good solution?

It’s an old age saying in the workplace, normally delivered by managers, and adopted throughout the organisation; “Don’t bring me problems. Bring me solutions”.

Ask someone who uses this quote and they’ll offer up some well-intended explanations on why they use it. Maybe they want to empower employees and encourage them to be more independent. They could be promoting job autonomy in the workplace. Perhaps they are trying to demonstrate they trust their employees.

But, what they are potentially doing is harming their employees wellbeing and the workplace culture, and this needs to be addressed.


Look at it this way, if an employee was truly empowered to work autonomously, then why are they coming to you to approve the solution?

Probably, because not every problem has one easy solution. Most require looking at from several points of view before landing on the preferred route. Whilst it can be time consuming to get the perspectives of others, discussing the multiple options can help you see more clearly and this normally helps you land on the most effective path. Saving you time and resource later down the road.


We are constantly evolving and learning as individuals, so how can we expect our employees, especially the more junior members, to become great problem solvers, if they are never involved in the process of deriving at the correct solution?

This saying can also breed a workplace culture of fear and stress, people worried of making and bringing mistakes forward. It can therefore prevent some problems from surfacing until they are a full-blown crisis.


If you can encourage and coach your team to communicate about problems in a more productive way – looking at how the problem arose and working collaboratively as a team to tackle the challenge – this instead will result in an environment where people feel safe to bring management bad news and communicate efficiently.


Let’s be clear, asking for help doesn’t display weakness. It actually builds strength.

So, perhaps a more empowering phrase (if you need one) would be “if you can’t first solve it yourself, come to me with the problem and we’ll solve it together.”


If you’d like to learn more about how we can empower your employees and encourage collaborative team work, then check out our range of courses here.

The 4Ps of Candid Conversations


The “Four Ps” model can help us to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial
  • Understand how to use the 4Ps to deliver a difficult message
  • Consider how this can help manage under-performance in a structured manner

Assertive Disagreement


When you disagree with someone, it is often best to be direct and clear, as it avoids an unfortunate misunderstanding. People can shy away from disagreement as it can sometimes feel confrontational. The assertive approach introduced in this module helps you to express your disagreement in a professional, constructive manner.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn what assertiveness is
  • Learn a process to put your case across without getting emotional
  • Provide context for how to use the model in a real-world environment

Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument


Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations and desires, conflict is a natural part of our interactions with others. This self-test assessment will tell you more about your predominant style of handling conflict and what this means.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide a starting point for your development
  • Identify your conflict handling style
  • Learn about the five conflict handling modes

AID Feedback Model


Providing feedback that encourages open dialogue and communication enhances your credibility as both a teammate and as a leader. AID is a simple feedback model that can be used for positive moments and those that need corrective action.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn a simple model for providing feedback
  • Identify your own role in each of the stages
  • Discover the benefits of creating a feedback culture

Action-Centred Leadership


Good managers and leaders should have full command of the three main areas of the Action-Centred Leadership model and should use each of the elements according to the situation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discover John Adair’s action-centred leadership model
  • Learn how to adapt the model for your own work situation
  • Investigate the danger of becoming out of balance

Question Types


Asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange. Using the right questions can improve a whole range of communication skills; the information we receive back (the answer) will depend very much on the type of question we ask.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn why asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange
  • Discover why the right questions in a particular situation can improve a whole range of communication skills

Dr. Mehrabian’s Communication Model


We are always communicating, even when we are not speaking. Other factors communicate what we really think and feel, which can be explained by looking at Albert Mehrabian’s communication model.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the impact of mixed messages when communicating
  • Understand that communication is a blend of words, body language and tone

Situational Leadership


Leaders need to tailor their approach based on the person they are coaching, their experience at the task and their level of enthusiasm for completing it.

The ability to adapt your leadership style to cater to different tasks and your people’s needs is called situational leadership.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model
  • Recognise directive and supportive behaviours
  • Understand the four leadership styles in line with situational leadership
  • Understand the development levels of team members, based on competence and commitment
  • Become confident with flexing your leadership style to the individual and the situation