‘I’ve just had a call from nursery [school / parents / insert your own situation here] and I need to go right now’.
This was me talking to my manager and the response I got changed how I managed people forever.
‘I’m sorry to hear that, you just go. Do what you need to do and let me know how you are later’
I walked out of the door relieved and grateful. It was a far cry from previous managers – you know the sort. The ones that roll their eyes, sigh, look at their watch, ask ‘how long for?’ and generally make you feel bad.
I vowed to mirror this behaviour that had made me feel respected and trusted, cared for. The next time someone called in sick I said, ‘I’m sorry to hear that, you rest, and I’ll see you when you are better’. When someone had an urgent call from school I said, ‘I’m sorry to hear that, go – everything is fine here’. And they did. Then they came back happier, calmer and more engaged.
Never under estimate how much you make a difference when you lead people. What are your experiences in this area? Did any inspirational leaders change the way you behave?