I can’t tell you how often I hear that declaration of identity from my clients. It is often said with pride as they acknowledge their strength of identifying and solving problems.
At SixSEED Partners, we honor that declaration AND we will nudge you to expand it! What’s wrong with being a fixer? Isn’t that a noble deed? For sure, except when:
- The person or situation in front of you isn’t asking for a fix
- There isn’t a problem to solve
- By ‘fixing’ the problem in front of you, you inadvertently cause more problems downstream that are part of the system
- You take on a responsibility that isn’t yours to take on and by doing so, become overwhelmed
So, what’s the answer?? Try these options for consideration:
- Ask whoever is in front of you what they most need from you in this moment? You may be pleased to find they just want you to listen and empathize
- Ask: Might this be a tension that has other systemic impact? What other perspectives might you invite to the table?
- Consider: For whom might wrestling with this problem be a developmental opportunity where I might grow leadership capacity within my team or organization?
The next time you’re tempted to declare: “I’m a fixer–” consider saying “I’m a fixer.. and I’m so much more than that!”