Most of us live in a world where we go unconscious from time to time. Usually this happens out of habit or in to fear when something is new. When we go unconscious, I mean that we do something without being aware of what we are doing…. Breathing is usually an automatic act and that’s a good thing. Sometimes we go unconscious from boredom… (driven that stretch hundreds of times) and that may not be a good thing.
Today, let’s talk about when it is important to be aware. In my role with Excell Puget Sound
, I work with a lot of business owners.
They have usually started their companies or grown up in them, as family owned businesses.
There are some roles, skills and ways they do things that are second nature. You have those too…. things you do that you just don’t have to think about. If you play golf and you are thinking about everything you do, my crystal ball says, “You are having a lousy round of golf!”
So choosing when to be aware, conscious and think about something is ultimately important. The golf course is a bad place to try and practice. However, time at the driving range, doing exercises, thinking about what needs to be changed, modified and corrected can be very profitable time spent. You get the idea… pick and choose when you are on automatic.
I just watched a CEO with one of her reports.
She is really knowledgeable and good at what she does.
In this case, she was in a hurry.
By the time the conversation was finished, I noticed that the employee looked frustrated and had lost eye contact.
As good as this CEO is at reading people, she was unaware that the interchange had ended negatively.
Here was a prime teaching opportunity lost. The employee (I ran in to her later) told me she felt more dependent because of the directions received (translate that in to less satisfied with her job and less engaged in taking initiative). This was a time that the CEO should have made a decision to be present, ask lots of questions and challenge the employee to come up with several solutions and recommend a course of action from one of them.
Can you always take time? No. If you can’t tell your employee that you either want to address the issue later or that because of time constraints, you are making a decision. At ExcellPugetSound we urge business owners to be clear about when and where you are teaching, or not. If you are constrained, then communicate what the impact is of tight time and do it before you “fix” a problem.
Do you have redo’s in your company? Do they include teaching moments and professional development? I later suggested to the CEO that she ask the employee to raise the issue again at their weekly staff meeting and allow everyone to weigh in. What are your techniques for getting a redo?