You Mean I Have to Leave My Office?

By Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D.

Emily, an introverted customer service manager, expressed dismay to me that since her promotion to manager she rarely left her office. She said, “The temptation is to get your reports written and handle communication electronically.” Emily is losing out on building relationships with her team. She is also not hearing about their creative ideas to solve problems. 

There was a theory back in the eighties called MBWA, which stands for management by walking around. The idea was to encourage managers to get out from their desks and actually  talk to people. Revolutionary for the time, it is commonly accepted today. But with so many more complex distractions it is too often ignored.

So here is the deal: Carve out regular times (even if you have to schedule them), to have one on ones with your team. You can coach them on projects and solve problems together. By making the space to focus on their needs you will build a climate of trust that can lead to more risk taking and innovation.

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