Monday, February 27, 2012

Do not save time...you already have it

Posted on Monday, February 27, 2012 by International Coach Federation

"Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." H. Jackson Brown.


The most valuable resource a manager or employee can have is none other than time. As a famous English writer once said, better three hours early than one minute late, more and more business people with important leadership roles in organizations tend to compromise their relationship with other employees around them just for the sake of saving time. I believe it is a situation you are familiar with: unanswered e-mails, inefficient communication, confused employees etc. Basically, while trying to save more time, we alter our relationships with people around us, by forgetting to approve certain meetings, answer questions or finish a certain task. But how can we earn our business partners’ respect if we are constantly blinded by this “I need to save more time” hypnosis?

- Or how can you earn your own respect by finishing everything you have to do on time?

Radu is one of the key employees in the construction business he works. He was responsible for organizing the entire sales process and the business connection with the clients. He knew how to handle his job and many could’ve learned from his work experience. However, Radu had one major flaw: he was easily influenced by his lack of time – meaning he was always in a hurry. If he wanted to delegate a task for another employee, then everything had to be well understood from the very beginning, because he never had or thought he could find the time to give further explanations. His priority were always his clients, which sometimes, made him forget that he was part of a team and that they all worked for the same goal. If a colleague wanted to ask him something or require his assistance for a particular task, he would have had to wait for a long time because Radu was not willing to waste his time on things that “could wait.” However, things got worse in time, because while trying to save more time, he spent too little with his colleagues, sometimes even speaking too directly to them, using harsh words like “ You must finish this right now” or “Bring me the latest chart on our monthly profit.”

Nobody could properly talk to Radu because he was always on the go. He thought that he needed to do things faster so that he could make sure he would finish everything on time. Because if he didn’t finish the job, another company would, thus making him loses his clients.

The department was run in this manner for a while, until one evening, when everyone left the office, Radu overheard a conversation between two of his colleagues. They complained that they didn’t understand a thing from the past few months in this company and that they couldn’t find a solution because Radu was never there to help them. This conversation wouldn’t have been a problem for Radu if the ones who took part to it were simple employees in the company; however, these two individuals were Radu’s key partners. This was the first feedback that made him realize that there are far more important things than time. After this, he started to work with a coach.

Sometimes, when we feel we don’t have enough time, we tend to become irresponsible with the people around us. But the problem is not our lack of time, but our impression that we don’t have enough time. I have met numerous business people who were always needed at the office, but despite their busy schedule they were the ones who answered to e-mails or who maintained a direct communication with their clients, without complaining they don’t have enough time.

Because there is no such thing as “lack of time,” but a lack of collaboration and delegation with the people around you; a lack of trust in yourself and your ability to finish things on time and a lack of trust in others, because you don’t believe they could finish the job properly.
Rodica Obancea, ACC

Every manager values his time and it is ok not to waste your time with irrelevant activities. The challenge, however, is to trust yourself and believe you can finish on time, while collaborating with others. This is what a team really is.

Rodica Obancea, ACC is passionate about change, emergence, living systems. She works within business environment, with managers, teams for achieving ambitious results. For more information, visit www.successcoaching.ro.

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