This is from Harvard Business Review
“Bring me solutions, not problems.” Many well-meaning managers have said it, intending to keep employees from simply complaining about work issues. But employees can take it to mean they should cover up an issue if they don’t have a way to fix it. So it’s better to tell your team to bring you problem statements. Complaints are usually stated in absolutes, such as always and never, and point the finger at someone else: “Group Blue never hits their deadlines, and we’re always left holding the bag.” Problem statements, on the other hand, provide objective facts and reveal everyone’s role in creating the problem: “Group Blue has missed deadlines four times. In two cases we were also unprepared. In the other two cases we had to work weekends because of Blue’s late work.” It’s far easier to address a detailed, balanced account of a problem than a complaint.
Adapted from “The Problem with Saying ‘Don’t Bring Me Problems, Bring Me Solutions,’” by Sabina Nawaz