Here at Brew Your Skill, we try to focus on bringing the best business tactics and management techniques directly to you to help you increase—
Hold on, someone’s at the door.
Sorry about that. Anyway – our techniques will make sure that you’re best-positioned to—
That’s my phone – I should probably take this, hang on a minute.
Okay, we’re back – not sure why they asked what they did, I thought I answered that question yesterday! Ugh, whatever. Anyway, our mission here at Brew Your Skill is—
OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, hold on.
Back, sorry – it’s amazing I get anything done around here. I feel like all I do is answer the same questions over and over again. Why can’t I get a moment of peace? Are they really this lost without me?
Hit the Button, Get a Pellet!
In a word? No. Just because people are consistently coming to you with issues doesn’t mean that they’re genuinely lost. How do you avoid these interruptions? One word: consistency. What happened earlier was the result of not having a protocol set for providing feedback and answering questions. Since there was no framework in place to allow people a set time to ask questions, they think the door’s always open and they can ask what they need to whenever they want.
Here’s the trouble; while you can’t (and shouldn’t!) eliminate your open-door policy, what you can do is train your employees by letting them know that you’ll have a consistent timeslot available to them that they can use to come to you with any issues that need solving. When you are able to stick to this, you’ll be helping everyone involved, including yourself.
Stands for Weekly Accountability Meetings. Put some time on your calendar every week to use as an open forum for feedback, questions, and answers for your team. If they have an issue that isn’t a 5-alarm fire, chances are they can put it on the docket for that week’s meeting and can wait until then to have their questions answered.
Now here’s the rub, and where this gets important – you have to train them to think for themselves. Now, I know that training someone for independent thought seems like a paradox, believe us it’s not. By giving them a consistent framework for bringing up and solving issues, they’re more likely to use the time that you have together wisely and only focus on major points that need to be resolved.
By solidifying the time that you have together with your employees/team members, they’ll start to realize that they can’t just come to you whenever they feel like it – this breeds insecurity in decision making. If they know that they have a consistent place and time to work with you and get you to answer questions, they’re far more likely to only bring you the important stuff.
Not everything is a fire. Not every fire requires the entire fire department. They’ll begin to realize that they need to take control and ownership of situations. Keep working with them to encourage them to bring you.
Consistency is key to leadership from all sides of the equation – successfully establishing a consistent place and time for putting out fires means less confusion, more actionable progress and a reduced stress level for you and your employees. So go ahead, put some time on your calendar, invite everyone, keep the meetings steady, and remember – keep Brewing Your Skill!