One Thing Every Manager is Praying Their Employees Will Do
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, my first thought is often, “I don’t know.” After all, the person working on the project has just as much information as me (if not more). I hear them out and then ask, “What do you think we should do?”
If they don’t have an answer, it can feel 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, “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. Your boss might say, "Yes, sounds good!" and 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.
Jane Nevins is the Chief of Staff at an early-stage startup in New York City. She manages the teacher recruitment and training programs, which include operations, marketing, product, and program management. Her company, YiYi English, hires teachers to deliver one-on-one online English lessons to students in China.
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Freedom for All Americans
Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. Before moving to New York, Jane worked in Silicon Valley for 10 years. She was one of the first 11 employees at Lyft and has worked at other noteworthy startups like SolarCity and SunRun. In 2017 she received a master’s degree from the Communication Department of Stanford University, where she studied journalism, data analysis and the economics of news.... Continue Reading
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