I don’t know about you, but I know people and have done business with people that like to have calls just to have calls. Do you know what I am talking about? A call to talk about having a call? Or what I define as phone calls for calls-sake. How do you take yourself out of these time-wasters?
The first action is to define what deserves a phone call. As the leader, you have the power to define this and then set expectations around it. So do it!
Calls should be reserved for several different endpoints: collaboration, education, to confirm understanding, or to send a proper message where tone matters. Think about those for a second. Those feel right, right? There may be one or two other instances I’m forgetting but I think you can see the overall pattern. Any situation that would require more than 2 emails being exchanged or when an email would cause more confusion than resolution, you want to schedule a call.
Calls should not occur to make people feel better about a situation. And let’s be honest, that’s what those time waster calls are. Feel good calls. Except the only person who feels good is the person who scheduled the call. Everyone else is dying and wondering why this wasn’t an email.
This message today is super simple. Now that we are creating plans for returning to the office, now that we have had a shift in the way that we do business globally, we have a chance to level set and establish clearer expectations. If you are a person that holds calls to feel better about a situation, challenge yourself to limit calls for situations that truly require an active discussion.
Go through a process of evaluating the topic at hand. Realize that if the information is just informative or a call is just “easier for you,” that it will come across as a potential waste of time to your team. Don’t damage their trust in you by seeming as though you are more focused on life is easier for you than for them. Remember, we are here to serve them and to lead them in the way in which they want to be led. That includes using good judgment and not making them feel like your time is more valuable than theirs.
Are you someone who is scheduling calls with your team just to talk, or when you get a little fear in the pit of your stomach about a situation and you need some reassurance? Your challenge today is to reevaluate your methods. Don’t have a call for calls-sake. If you’re not like that but you now know someone who is, hook them up with this podcast episode and let me help you out. 😉