Archive for August 2012

Invest in People: Your Time & Attention

August 15, 2012

As leaders we are constantly bombarded by demands on our time.  Daily responsibilities, special projects, crisis management all compete for the precious commodity of our time and attention.  It is so easy to get caught up in the rush of the moment that we sometimes forget to use our most precious gift with others – our time & attention.

When we read articles or attend seminars about the latest leadership methods it can seem pretty complex.  We think we need to adopt the latest fads and techniques for working with people to be effective.  We seem to always be chasing a newer, better, trendier way of relating to and understanding those around us.  But one of the most valuable things that we can grant to people, that both inspires and builds understanding, is our time & attention.  I’m not talking about the time we half-listen when reading or watching television.  I’m not talking about the time & attention we give as we are going out the door or when we say “make it quick”.  I’m talking about the time when our full attention is focused on the other person, trying to fully understand not just the words but the message and spirit behind the words.

The most successful leaders have used this proven method for generations.  No matter how busy his or her schedule, they simply find time for others.  The best leaders use this gift in both professional and personal settings and with people of all ages and backgrounds.  It makes no difference the state of the economy, the weather forecast or social standing of the other.  It doesn’t cost a penny yet the returns can be amazing.

When we give of our time & attention to others we send the message that they are valued and important to us.  When we give of our time & attention we invest in a relationship that pays the highest returns imaginable.  When we give of our time & attention we demonstrate our greatest gift – the heart of a leader.