As a leader when is it OK to slow down?

Feb 15, 2013

When I am walking with my young daughters we are often in a rush to get to somewhere I want to be. The focus is getting there quickly, and there is less interest from me in what they are saying and doing, and more on trying to get us to go faster. Sometimes that’s just the way it has to be, yet even when we don’t need to be in a rush, I sometimes still feel the need to ‘chivy’ them along as I struggle to slow down.

Other times I remember to slow down and take the time to go at their pace. I look at their world by stopping and getting on their level, and become fascinated by the stuff they are curious about. I listen to what they are saying and answer their questions properly. We all enjoy the walk and we make a real connection.

At work we can get also get caught up in always being busy, rushing around, talking fast at people and not making time for the real connection.Sometimes we have to do it, yet we can miss the important stuff if we never slow down. Next time you are appraising someone, training them or simply answering a question, check if you are slowing down and taking the time to really listen.  Notice if its all on a deadline, focused only on immediate actions and quick wins. Do you understand their view of the world? Taking the chance to connect, learn what people need and see the world from their view is definitely worth the time.

If you are interested in developing your leadership or creating more effective teams we would love to have a conversation.

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