But you might be missing something important. Perhaps you’re treating people as if they were telemarketers. Let’s Clear the Path of a trap that can cost you time and money.
When a telemarketer calls (and I’m including those calls that are not blocked by Do Not Call lists), most people want to end the call as soon as possible, quite often with a slam of the phone. You immediately identify the call as an annoyance and want to get rid of it.
That works well with solicitations but could a member of your team have some good information to share but just be sharing it at the wrong time for you?
When someone feels ignored or shot down, he or she is less likely to return with the info. Their interpretation of the situation is that you don’t want to be bothered or that your input is not valued.
Whoa! That’s not what you want. You were just busy and couldn’t handle another distraction. The last thing you want is for someone not to tell you something important.
Your actions train your team. To keep open lines of communication, try these strategies, the next time you’re swamped:
- Make sure people understand that, “not now,” does not mean, “never.”
- Set aside some time every day for catching up on the conversations you couldn’t have earlier.
- When you do follow up with the other person, make sure you give him or her your full attention.
Through this method you’ll start to train people to not only bring you information and concerns but also make sure that when they bring you stuff, it will be important. The act of setting aside followup time, raises the stakes in their minds.
If you liked this post, you may also enjoy my recommendations on how to avoid a Complaint Avalanche from your team.