“Don’t bring problems, bring solutions” is bull crap

Bring problems! Sure, if you have a solution in mind then go ahead and suggest it. But that’s not a requirement. If people can’t bring a problem without a solution, then lots of important stuff won’t get talked about.

A team working together will find a better solution, anyway. That’s why teams exist: to work together and make each other better.

Plus, when a team works out the solution together, they’re bought into it. There’s power in that.

And maybe in the process of discussion solutions, the team will realize it’s not a valuable enough problem. That’s great; one less thing to do.

One of the five dysfunctions of a team is a fear of conflict, and usually this shows up as artificial harmony. When a team acts like everything is hunky dory, your spidey sense should be telling you there may be a fear of conflict in the mix.

Solutioning as a team requires conflict, and healthy teams have healthy conflicts. So when someone says “don’t bring problems, bring solutions,” they’re trying to avoid conflict and maintain artificial harmony. Dysfunction alert!

So bring problems, and work out solutions together.


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