Thursday, June 18, 2009

Allow for a little graciousness

In my business, I get to listen to execs and managers discuss the big issues - and the small issues - that drive them crazy. I just conducted an assessment of a company, and several execs shared the same "small issue." These good people were frustrated because they are robbed of being gracious too often because their employees or suppliers are presumptuous. I think this is a problem that many companies share.

Most of us like to be gracious, to say, "Sure, no problem" when asked for a day-off or for time to run to your kid's school to see them perform "The Wizard of Oz."

But what too often happens is an email is or a voicemail left by the employee saying, "I'm not coming in until after noon because my dog is sick," or "There's a school delay; I'm working from home," or "There's a delay from the supplier so I'm not going to be able to ship the product until I hear from them."

All of this would probably be OK, but it feels bad if you're the boss or a co-worker depending on those people. You wonder if you can count on them, what else isn't getting done, what's the next promise to be dropped? You also feel that your time is devalued - their time is more important. I don't believe that this is the intent, but it is the reality of how people feel.

All this can be solved if that person actually asks and confirms if it's OK to come in late, to see the play, to not send the shipment, etc. 99 percent of the time the exec will be gracious, and the fellow employee will understand.

We all love to be able to be gracious. Don't rob your boss or co-workers of that.

Barry LaBov
LaBov & Beyond

No comments:

Post a Comment