“The Expert”

bored

If you spend a number of years doing something (getting more experienced, learning things, doing mistakes), you start to know what works and what doesn’t, what is good and what is bad. Even if you aren’t that good at the beginning.

Some people will acknowledge this, some won’t. And that is alright, because you can’t know everything and you can always make mistakes.

If someone ask for your opinion you try your best to let them know what you think, because you are a nice person.
And you tell them once, twice, even a tree times. But some people can get over the fact that they are wrong. So what do you do then?

If you got the choice, you just let them be and do what they want. If not, you listen to their opinions, tell them yours, listen to them telling you that you are wrong and how things should be done and then you do what they want. Even if you know that is not the best solution or even a good one.

After a few months they come back to you and ask what is wrong, why aren’t people using it, why is everyone hatting it, why aren’t people more engaged.
And you tell them again what you’ve told them a few months ago.

Then nothing changes..

 

Some of you may know this, if not watch it, the video illustrates perfect the situation.

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How to help people work better

Or what I would do as a manager

If you really think about it, we don’t work that much when we are in the office. Sure, we get things done, but I’m not talking about this. I’m talking about doing meaningful things, having ideas, being innovative.

Just remember the last time you had that great idea, or think about your greatest work. I bet it wasn’t done while you were sitting on your chair, surrounded by the 40-50 people you share your open space with.

For some it was really early in the morning, when you were the first one in the office. Or while you were commuting, or in the shower (I always have some great ideas in the shower or on the toilet). Or probably when you were sick and had to work from home.

And this because we get distracted. We get distracted by our colleagues, by our boss, by the endless meetings and conferences. The moments when we can work at something for at little as 1-2 hours without being interrupted are extremely rare.

Until we are able to work from whatever place we chose and at whatever hour we want here is what I would do and propose you all try:

  1. Make your whole team not talk with each other for a day once a month (or at least half a day) – you will see that a lot of stuff will get done and this because people will be able to concentrate on the their job without anyone bothering or interrupting them. This will probably be the best job benefit you can offer to your team.
  2. Cancel your meetings – go to your calendar and cancel half of your meetings and then go and do it again. If there are more than 3-4 people in a meeting, you can probably skip it. Even most of the 3-4 person meetings could be replaced by a short email. Give time to people to put their ideas in order and afterwards they can just send you an email with anything they would like you to know. The world won’t end, everything will be just fine.
  3. Replace most of the active communication with passive communication – if someone comes to your desk you will have to talk with that person. And even if it is for 20 seconds, you will have to stop what you are doing, don’t think at the problem you had in mind, and offer your attention to that person. But if we replace this with emails or even instant messages, we gain control on the moment we want to be interrupted. We can quit Outlook or our IM app, but we can’t quit our boss or our colleague. You finish your tasks and then you spend a few minutes checking you email. Also, it is enough if you check your email 2 or 3 times a day. For must of us there aren’t any urgent things that need our immediate attention.
    So encourage your team to use emails and IMs.

I hope these ideas will help or at least encourage you to change the way you work.

lego people

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