To their dismay, new managers often discover that they spend a big chunk of their time solving employees' problems. Workers voice complaints or excuses—and the new boss is left picking up the pieces.
If you allow yourself to do the toughest parts of everyone else's job, you're asking for trouble. To preserve your sanity, resist the urge to play the role of problem-solver; instead, share your experience.
When a staffer comes to you with a problem, say, "Here's what I found when I faced a similar situation." Then tell a succinct story so that the employee uses your anecdote as a guide. That's better than responding, "Here's what you should do." Making lots of "should" statements almost guarantees that employees will tune out.
No one likes a lecture.