Sometimes I think we have we forgotten that people make up organisations? People enable business performance, business growth and return to shareholders; so why do some leaders prioritise meetings and tasks over themselves and their team members?

Based on my experience I consider that this occurs due to:

  • Misalignment between reward and outcomes
  • Inability to create boundaries or say no
  • Leading people does not come with an agenda or guide book
  • Conversations can sometimes be tough
  • People are exhausting and require energy
  • Dealing with people’s emotions is challenging
  • Lack of trust between themselves and their team (they need to go to every meeting)
  • People are more difficult to measure compared with financial targets

Why is this topic front of mind?

I am currently working with a number of organisations who have decided to invest in their people via individual coaching.  The starting point for working with these people is to speak with their leader to gain insights; obtain specific examples and to understand expectations of the development objectives.

However, finding a time when the leader is available is proving to be a challenge. I feel for these leaders as they are not having/making the time to lead.  Attending meetings (where the purpose is unclear or the leaders reason for attending is uncertain); writing and re-writing briefs and working through bureaucracy – would be both frustrating and disheartening.

Investing in people makes good business sense –  as business is all about people. Now is the time to also prioritise people who can work with you to achieve outcomes.

 How to prioritise people [yourself included]?

  • Only attend meetings if you are clear on the purpose of the meeting and what is your role
  • Recognise what time in the day you feel most energised – engage with people during these times
  • Block out time in your diary to “walk around” and talk to the team
  • Define boundaries and communicate these
  • Develop your communication skills (e.g. how to have difficult conversations)
  • Identify tasks you can delegate (and actually delegate these)
  • Seek feedback and input from your team
  • Learn about your team members as people (obviously this is dependent on how much they are prepared to share)

Prioritising people will be good for you and business and those people you lead.







About Maree Gardner

She's vibrant, energetic and passionate - just the kind of person you want on your team. With a distinguished career in senior executive roles across both the public and private sectors, Maree also holds a Masters of Human Resource Management. She takes a strategic, accountable and outcome-focussed approach to working with clients across a variety of industries. Her super-power? Being able to sort fad from fact at less than 20 paces.

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