If you are like most leaders you may have infrequent to zero contact with some of your staff. That is how it is where I am, we have over 6 sites spread throughout the Phoenix valley. The other day I received an email from my boss asking if I would be at our downtown location because we needed to meet. Admittedly, I didn’t ask what for because I wasn’t sure what the answer would be. So we set a time for us to meet and the wondering began.
A lot of the time we think that no news is good news. If she doesn’t have to talk to me then everything must be going well. To a degree that is correct, especially at are our company. If she doesn’t have to talk to me then the projects that are executed at my facility are not being escalated for performance or any other reason. However, the silence can also create doubt. The doubt becomes ever more present when a meeting is requested.
I’m am not sure why this was a surprise to me. After all, this happens with my staff when I ask them to stay behind, or not to leave without talking to me. They usually come back within 5 minutes to ask what for and express their concern that it would not be a pleasant conversation. If it were not a pleasant conversation that I wanted to have I certainly would not wait to address it, but they don’t know that.
As leaders, we need to make a better effort at touching our staff periodically. No only to remove doubt when you do ask to meet with them but also so they won’t fear you when you do come around. It is especially important to have regular touch points so that the rate of positive interactions balances or outweighs the negative ones. If the only time you are going to your staff about something is when they did something wrong or to correct their work you are failing as a leader.
It is appropriate that I write this on a Friday. For I believe Friday’s are the days you wrap-up your lose ends, chit-chat with your staff, celebrate both the wins and challenges and head into your weekend without worry. Make an effort today, and every day to touch each of your staff and hopefully in a positive and healthy way. Sending them off on to their weekend feeling good about their position and knowing you value their work, will encourage them to come back Monday excited, energized and ready to shine.
On another note, we all can control this whether we are the boss or not. The ball is not just in the court of the leader, but in all of ours court. If your boss isn’t reaching out to you for a meeting, then you should be reaching out to them. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to blown your own horn, if you aren’t telling them the good things you are accomplishing, you can’t expect them to know.
More Actionable Advice:
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