Make Time for Relationships


Do you practice the principle that, with people, slow is fast and fast is slow?

Dr. Covey liked to say, “With people, slow is fast and fast is slow.” Real relationships require us to slow down, even when everything around us is demanding we go faster. Our effectiveness as leaders requires us to take the time to get it right.
  • Ask yourself: Is your default setting “fast”? If yes, is that shortchanging you and others? Is your efficiency mindset undercutting a more beneficial effectiveness mindset?
  • Understand that there’s no such thing as developing a relationship “efficiently.” Trust, respect, and rapport take time and investment.
  • Intentionally slow down and connect with others in ways they prefer.
  • Commit to ask a team member or colleague how he or she is doing and really listen to their response. When appropriate, sincerely explore their answer.
  • Recognize your judgments regarding time:
    • Do you give time to people or situations you can’t equate with productivity or value?
    • Are your exchanges focused on gathering information or on strengthening relationships? Commit to make them both.

For more on making time for relationships, watch this short clip from Scott Miller, author of Management Mess to Leadership Success.

The best leaders are curious. But they don’t just ask a lot of questions. They ask the right questions—the kind that focus their team’s brainpower on the right problems.


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