Thursday, October 20th, 2016
I know what you’re dealing with: a need to move faster than lightening, get results now, and get them right. And did I mention all the corporate paperwork and processes you have to follow while still delivering on time and under budget?
But wait – in all of this rush, you’ve forgotten something – or someone and maybe many “someones”. The fact of the matter is that you can’t lead without others, and people need you. They take time. They take effort. They take relationship-building. Last but not least they take conversation. Sometimes they need conversations that are emotional because work can be emotional or because they have something going in their outside-of-work life that is impacting them and their work.
Listen because when someone is distraught, that’s often all you need to do. Listen to understand their situation, and when you get a chance, summarize what you think you heard and don’t be upset if you got it wrong. You did your best.
Don’t judge their story. Instead, you might find some common ground to be able to say simply, “That sucks, and I’ve been there too”. Beware of telling your own stories because at this moment, they just need to feel heard. Stay with them and stay present as long as you can. Focus on their situation and their story.
Summing-up: This time with someone may be the most important part of your day. Welcome it. Stop what you are doing and turn to the person who needs you. Let them have all of your attention, because sometimes all that conversation requires is your presence.