How do we get senior staff to be more inclusive?
This is based off personal experiences that I have recently had when trying to reach out to two individuals at a senior level. I wanted to chart in this blog the challenges and also give some solutions.
Recently I have reached out to seniors and tried to be transparent the issue with this is you get the line. Yes we have crossovers … We should chat… Get x to put something in my diary…
So you do the above and the suggestion is a post working hours discussion… Cool the world’s a great place…
Then you rearrange your evening to fit in with the request as its the only time you can find to speak to senior person as:
- They are so busy they cant talk to people this equals a big barrier
2. Little people — juniors, do’ers, those who look up to them as role models and have a want to work with them.
3. You then have the battle that there is the need to go through the gatekeepers (Assistants etc).
I actually tried this with someone else and could not get past the Gatekeeper. It was not seen as something that was “Important enough” for a meeting on… Saving money and process change is no longer important?
I was pigeon holled I felt if honest sick and annoyed with the fact the reasons I stated for wanting to be part of the organisation were no longer relevant…
Are you ranting about having a Personal Assistant?
No, not in the slightest I have done that work it is long, frustrating and tough going! However, my approach was always to be open minded and think of everyone who wanted access to the person.
As I said above they are a role model and they got where they are because they are navigators they went through the system and didn’t rock the boat. They need to remember with the title comes being inclusive. Change can only come when the whole organisation is consulted and on the same page.
Get someone to tell you in advance what they want to discuss and what they need, have a working lunch with that person. However, don’t fall into the trap of making them pitch as you walk to the cafe. That is not inclusive.
So what am I suggesting?
I am suggesting that time is used wisely less focus on the I must be in this meeting where I am needed. What people need to do is ask the question are you needed there? What is the importance that you will have there?
Get your Assistant to be less aggressive and repel everyone who wants access to you. This is something that is important and should be at the forefront of every personal assistant’s mind and ask questions.
Time is the enemy?
No time is not the enemy using time incorrectly is the biggest enemy
Do you need to be there? Is your attendance 100% vital? Do you have a clash? If you do work out how to do both things. Usually that means flexible approaches. Does it really need an hour for that meeting? or can you do 15 in one and 30 in the other?
As published previously and how Tesla run their meetings:
- No large meetings “Please get rid of all large meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which case keep them very short.” — Musk
2. If you’re not adding value to a meeting, leave “Walk out of a meeting or drop off a call as soon as it is obvious you aren’t adding value.” Most would find this horrific but it is actually worth you are getting your time back! You say your diary is manic well here is a solution.
3. No frequent meetings “Also get rid of frequent meetings, unless you are dealing with an extremely urgent matter,” writes Musk. “Meeting frequency should drop rapidly once the urgent matter is resolved.”
These all prove time is NOT the enemy the enemy is yourself and your consent forget to not be inclusive. Don’t pigeon hole someone and palm them off with the offer of another person in the team. They want to speak to you!
Why do they want to speak to you?
Maybe they saw you standing up and saw some alignment in what you said and what the things were you align on.
Maybe there was a want because it is actually something you don’t have sight of as you are higher and its below your level
Maybe it would actually improve the organisation?
What if you don’t speak to them and pull the “Speak to x my diary is manic!” Line…
How does that reflect on you?
What will they think of you?
Is that brilliant idea going to be shelved? — The time saver, the cost saver, the money maker?
They loose total respect for you and the reason they reached out in the first place was because they had respected what you said…
Worst of all… THEY LEAVE YOUR ORGANISATION! — That talent is gone all because you claim you didn’t have time to chat?
Evidence of this I can not prove as I do not have access to at the time of writing this exit surveys. What I can do is say from personal experience why I left and also why others have told me they are:
Lack of communication from seniors, Blurred working lines, Direction unclear, Difficulty seeing where there was a chance / opportunity for them in the organisation, Poor leaders, Inclusivity, recognised for the impact they want to have.
Once upon a time these were top talent that you were so pleased to have recruited and have in the business. Now they are leaving you are saying to them the door is always open… You have however; missed the open goal and seen why they are moving on it is either 1 or several of the reasons above.
What should you do?
You should listen, work with people, show transparency, don’t make the mistake of having desk time — Have inclusive time instead publish this around the business as time when people can come and chat and ask the questions
Quoted Reference: https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-3-rules-running-better-meetings-like-having-less-2019-8?r=US&IR=T#3-no-frequent-meetings-3