Are your days just flying by? Too much to do and not enough time to get things done? Are you feeling torn between helping your team and getting your work done too?
All of this pressure can make us lose focus. Ironically when we want to get MORE done, the stress actually makes us LESS productive. Here is a quick tip for conversations with your team that will save you time, create less confusion, and increase you AND your team’s output in 4 easy steps.
- At the start of each conversation, be upfront about how much time you are going to give it. How much time do they need? Can you provide it? Or offer an alternative that works in your schedule? Don’t worry when your answer is none. You can say “I want to help you, but now is not a good time. Let’s schedule some time for later.”
- Get very clear about what you need from them or what they need from you. It isn’t cheating to start with the objective. The goal of the conversation is to give and/or get help. You aren’t trying to test how well you both can guess what’s on each others mind. Start on the same page and both of you are much more likely to leave the conversation satisfied.
- Give the conversation your total attention. From Step #1, not only do you already know that you have the time, you know exactly how much, so stop everything else you are doing. No email. No To Do list. No scrolling through your phone. Focus now so you make the most of the time. One exception: Walking and talking. Moving our bodies helps our minds. Some of the best help I have gotten from managers was while walking with them between meetings or to refill our coffee cups or water bottles.
- Wrap up the conversation clearly. Just before you run out of time, recap what you discussed. Confirm that you met the objective. Figure out what (if any) next steps are needed. Don’t play the guessing game here either
So there you have it. It doesn’t need to be formal, and it may be a little awkward the first few times you do it, but stick with it. Not only will you get more done, your working relationships will be stronger because you showed up at your best: proactive and intentional.
Make sense, but not sure how to get started? I would love to help you put these steps into practice. As your coach, I will support you in tackling your specific challenges and get the results you deserve. Sign up for coaching today.