My sister got married while I was very young ( in 5th grade to be precise !! ). When I started to make some sense of life and what it meant , my sister after many years of her marriage shared with me a funny incidence which she got subjected to. This was just after she had reached the US and it was winters when she and her hubby landed. I don’t exactly remember where it happened but it went like this; Standing by a road crossing , with snow and sleet on it , my sister ventured to cross it with her husband standing behind her. She ends up falling and for obvious reasons because she did not have right kind of shoes neither idea about to handle snow. For a lady travelling for first time and seeing snow for first time because she came from plains of North India!! , this was waiting to happen…
When she questioned her husband about why did he not make her aware of how to approach and tackle this problem , he was blunt to say that you ought to fall to learn something…At that time when I was told this by my sister, it seemed funny as well not so good because of the fall she had…but after many years since then , I could reflect couple of things out of that incidence.
In our office life as managers we should prepare people only to a certain extent , that they feel empowered to approach the problem. Hand holding them through challenges is a mistake which we commit because it acts as barrier to get true potential of individuals and how they apply themselves. Another aspect of this is , that we should be present always as managers to own our team if they fail while handling a challenge ( my sister’s husband was all the while there , to take care of her , he did not walk away).
I believe a mix of frying pan approach with air-cover serves as good recipe in preparing teams to deliver performance in spotty situations while also increases their confidence.