When I was a SVP Chief Operating Officer in a well known company, I was fortunate to have a very capable team – lawyers; financial analysts; HR, IT and Communications pros; and a very fine group of Accounts Payable people. The amount and quality of work that the team produced was very, very impressive!
Now, as I don’t have to tell you, with a lot of work comes a lot of activity and, sometimes, the last thing any of us needs is a lot of conversation. Better to set one’s mind on a task, drive hard and get it done. Right?
Wrong! While there’s certainly a need and place for focus and determination, I always tell people I work with that, “Everything’s a conversation.” That is, I may ask someone to do something that he or she knows won’t work; or that’s different from what I asked them to do yesterday; or that will take more time than a simpler, more straightforward approach.
For this reason, I would say, “Everything’s a conversation…” Just talk to me; tell me what you think; ask questions. Sure, at some point we’ll need to make a decision – right or wrong – and move on. And sometimes there really isn’t time for a lot of talking. But, if we can, let’s have a few words about what we’re trying to do and how, and chances are we’ll get it done better, and we’ll all feel respected along the way.
By the way, you can try this at home! Let me know what you find out.