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Don’t Be That Guy December 2, 2011

Posted by Jason in Management.
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We talk a lot in my business about “management by walking around.”  Naturally, one can’t truly manage a workforce from an office or otherwise not in regular contact.  Indeed, I addressed just this very issue before, but as always, there are exceptions to the rule.

As a business coach, I must be constantly sensitive to my clients’ time and aware that anything I ask of them must fit into an already busy schedule.  Simply walking around and dropping in can easily consume valuable time, making my visits a chore and an annoyance rather than constructive.  Not only must I be aware of everyone’s “hard” scheduled commitments, but also of the more subtle differences in energy throughout the day.

One person may be ready to attack new tasks first thing in the morning and would welcome adding things to the list so that they can be prioritized all together.  Another leaves work the previous day having his morning scheduled just so and detests interruptions and changes until the major tasks have been completed.  Solution: drop in for a few minutes with Person A at the start of the day; save Person B for after lunch.

Taking this approach to yet another level, just because I avoid taking valuable time from Person B in the morning, doesn’t mean I can’t say “hi” or otherwise engage in a brief, non-work-related chat.  The subtle payoff is this: I (hopefully) will not be “that guy” that can’t talk about anything but work or always comes rushing in with a “five minute” task at all hours of the day.

Accepting coaching is already stressful and time-consuming.  If all you ever bring to your staff is another job that doesn’t quite fit into the schedule, hasn’t been well thought out, or is otherwise just another fire drill, your mere presence can cause stress and anxiety.  This feeling – even if mild and unconscious – can reduce productivity and creativity, even to the point of active resistance to your management efforts.

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