5 reasons managers are addicted to “fixing” – and how to recover

This is an excellent article on why a fixer mentality is common among new managers. A fixer goes over the work of someone else and fixes it to match their standards, or they take on the work themselves entirely. This is bad because it isn’t delegation and shows a lower trust in a person’s work. Most managers are addicted to the fixer mentality.

What I find helpful is to think in terms of teachable moments. Back when I was tutoring computer science, we would look over their code or design of their programs and figure out where the issues are. Instead of jumping in to fix their code, I would explain the problem and some ways of fixing it (such as within the context of the code, or in another situation outside of the current problem).

That’s how a teachable moment works. You’re training someone to take control of the situation and come up with a solution that fits within the constraints which includes your own high standards. Instead of jumping in to fix something yourself, stop and step back and see if you can teach something in the moment. It’s more effective and shows trust in your team.

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