5 Ways to Bring Your Best When Schedules are Tight
In one study*, theology students at Princeton University stepped over a person in need. They were on their way to give a talk about the Good Samaritan. The needy person coughed and moaned as they stepped over him.
You should know that some of the students were primed to be in a hurry.
- Elevates results over relationships.
- Blinds to inconsistency. An inconsistent jerk-hole mouths the words, “We put people first,” while treating people like tools.
- Turns you inward. When the clock’s ticking, it’s all about you.
A person in a hurry doesn’t show interest in people. You don’t mind cutting people off, barking orders, or pushing ahead of slow-moving groups when your flight is boarding at gate 84 and you’re at gate 3.
Getting stuff done isn’t an excuse to be a jerk-hole.
5 ways to cage your inner jerk-hole:
#1. Take a short break after completing a task.
Don’t simply rush from one task to the next. Breathe. Reconnect. Take a short walk.
#2. Eat lunch with people for the sole purpose of learning about them and sharing a bit of yourself.
#3. Include brief social time at the beginning of meetings.
Ask team members for updates on their training, kids, or personal achievements, for example.
#4. Delegate a task so you have time to aid a teammate in need.
#5. Reschedule non-binding activities in order to give attention to another’s pressing need.
- Compassion seldom fits neatly into a busy schedule. Compassion requires passion and flexibility.
- Helping others isn’t an excuse for not getting your work done.
Bonus: Schedule people-focused-walk-abouts in the morning and afternoon. Treat people-focused walk-abouts like other important appointments.
How might leaders deal with time pressure and manage their inner jerk-holes?
(The parable of the Good Samaritan is the story of a social outcast who inconvenienced himself and gave aid to a person in need, while religious insiders passed by.)
This is a great reminder that sometimes we do need to slow down to ultimately speed up.
Dan – love your series and am always learning something new. Your emphasis on servant leadership is inspiring and changing the way I lead.
How do you explain and/or make sense of leaders who rise to the top (and stay at the top) who aren’t servant leaders, don’t place value on relationships, results at any cost, etc?
This is such an important message. I like to work hard and fast, and I often don’t feel the need to slow down and take a break until it’s too late. Just today, we had such a good laugh as colleagues at lunch that I came back to work clearer, better able to function and in such a great mood.
It definitely pays off!
As a former Seminary student, I probably would have done the same! Ouch! Thanks for the good reminders to slow down and focus on others.