A manager friend often says, “I can’t solve a problem if I don’t know about it.” That’s his way of encouraging colleagues to inform him of issues as they arise.
Sometimes, though, that creates conflict. What if the problem reflects badly on a co-worker? Or on the manager?
The manager’s job is multi-faceted. She must execute assigned duties and solve problems. She must also evaluate employees and make recommendations for promotions and raises.
To encourage open discussion of problems, managers must support their colleagues unequivocally and treat mistakes as “teachable moments.” Otherwise, problems will remain unknown and unaddressed.