Today I’m diving into the concept of prioritizing tasks before connection. No doubt when you saw the title of this episode you knew what I was talking about. How do I know? Because you know you do it.
I know this because I do it from time to time even now, but I used to do it regularly when I worked in the corporate world. It’s not intentional, it’s not like any of us say in our minds, “No, checking the box is more important than my friendships, relationships, checking on my team, or welcoming the new employee.” None of us say that in our minds.
What we do say is, “I will go spend time with them in just a second. I just have to finish doing this one thing. If I can get this done, if I can finish these emails, this presentation, review these numbers, finalize this plan, then I will be able to breathe for a minute and then I can focus on that person.”
We say it with good intentions. We mean well. But in reality, that connection doesn’t happen.
Because just as you are wrapping up the first activity you remember something even more pressing, or you get that critical email or your phone goes off reminding you of something else you need to tackle. So, you go off to the next. Not intentionally, but the schedule you have created for yourself, the work you have in front of you, you feel obligated to get it done.
In the corporate world, many times you are pushed so hard to get the task work done that you have essentially been trained to do work before you connect. To check the box, finish the tasks, move the ball forward before you check on your people or even have relationships with others. I believe this comes from a situation where the leaders creating the work and setting the expectations for the teams below them have no clue as to how much time that work takes and therefore they establish expectations that are so unrealistic, those mid-level leaders have to make a choice. Tasks or people. And they are evaluated on tasks, not relationships. So there you go.
Like it or not, the tasks have to come first because of the workload and the evaluation process.
When you develop the teams within your business, learn from this. As you lead by example in your business, learn from this. Don’t put tasks before connection. Connection is one of the basic needs that we talked about recently. We all need connection, so make sure you provide that and allow for it in your company. In your day job, find ways to inject connection into the work. Work to create balance for your corporate team.