As we push line leaders to the forefront of being the “continuous improvers” I am learning to listen to their language about problems.
He / She
Him / Her
His / Hers
Who owns the problem or removing the obstacle?
The “first person” group tend to be far more proactive, and successful, at dealing with issues; where the “second and third person” leaders are satisfied once they can assign an obstacle to something outside of their immediate, personal control. They are even disconnecting themselves from their own team (if you can call it a team in the first place).
The “first person” group are quicker to get into a mode of curiosity and learning.
The “second and third person” group are generally satisfied with a superficial understanding. I find this group most frequently in cultures where leaders are primarily concerned with being able to explain the reasons for problems.