Today I want to talk to the ‘fixers’ and ‘caretakers’ of our organizations. You know who you are—you’re the skilled and compassionate people who like to solve others’ problems. You give a lot of advice, and you’re willing to jump in wherever help is needed, even at the expense of your responsibilities and well-being. No matter what it takes, you get the job done. People rely on you, and you commit yourself far more than your bandwidth. As a result, you find yourself feeling resentful, tired, dissatisfied, and even unappreciated.
The point I want to drive home is that you are, in fact, valuable, and your organization needs you at your very best. During times like these where there are significant resource gaps, your fixing may pose a conflict.
Not all problems need an immediate fix. If a problem can be fixed, you may not be the only one or the best person to fix it. When you jump into a conflict with haste, you may be disempowering other people by denying them the opportunity to step up their game and learn to be problem-solvers themselves. Your fixing may not be sustainable for you or your organization.
Here are a few coach’s tips to help you start controlling the urge to fix things and save the day:
1. Know that your value isn’t tied to your organization and that your role is enough.
2. Recognize that you might be holding on to some perfectionist ideals, and when you see them manifesting, let them go.
3. Be realistic, and ask for support from your leadership and peers.
4. Set boundaries and respect those of others.
5. Empower others by delegating and job-sharing.
6. Practice checking your intentions—you might find that there are some stealth expectations under the hood.
The transformation from being a fixer takes some practice and effort, but I know you can do it. Remember, your organization needs you at your best, so give it a try.
If you have any feedback to share or questions about today’s topic, feel free to message me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Salamat po, and take care!