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May 09, 2005

Take Five and be a Better Boss

Rosa Say has another great tip in her post titled The Daily Five Minutes.  She suggests that each day, managers give five minutes of “no-agenda time” to at least one employee.  Here are some benefits to the managers:

In the process of developing this habit, they greatly improved their own approachability. They had nurtured a circle of comfort for their employees to step into and talk to them——whenever time presented itself. The Daily Five Minutes itself soon became a more personal thing. Employees started to share their lives with them——what they did over the weekend, how their kids were doing in school, how they felt about a local news story. Managers began to know their employees very well, and their employees began to relate to them more as people and not just as managers. They were practicing the art of ‘Ike loa together. 

Managers ceased to judge employee situations prematurely, for they had built up a relationship that demanded all be allowed to speak first——and they wanted to speak with their employees, sure they’d receive more clarity. The Daily Five Minutes became a “safe zone” where employees felt they could talk story with their manager “off the record,” and managers learned to ask, “Are you venting, or asking for help? Do I keep this in confidence, or do you expect me to take action?” It became clearer who was responsible for following up on things.  Managers had less and less of those “if only I had known about this sooner” surprises.

Think about doing a Daily Five Minutes with all of your employees.  Then extend it to your clients and see what happens!

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Here is a worthwhile idea for managers who would like to establish a better relationship with their employees; take some time out to spend with your employees each day and get to know them as people and not just as cogs in the economic machine that is ... [Read More]

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