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Managers, at all levels, must learn to respect the time of others

By dessquire, 20 April, 2012

I was recently working at a company and was advised some of the delegates at the training course I was conducting could not attend as they had been called into a meeting by the General manager.

I asked – when they were notified – the response yesterday

I asked when my training had been scheduled – they responded three weeks ago

I asked why the GM had not been advised they had a prior training engagement? The response was – “we cant do that , well be fired”

What a load of hogwash. Who does the GM think he or she is that people must drop what they have planned to facilitate his or her failure to plan. what gives him or her the right to expect others to be at his beck and call?

Do managers suddenly think they are gods with a right to call meeting at short notice and have everyone "cow tow" to them?

Another example - at another company a meeting was called so some appointments I had with staff members were cancelled in order to facilitate this off the cuff demand to attend. Once again I was annoyed because there was no respect shown for my time?

Guess what? The morning of the meeting it was cancelled because something else cropped up that the senior manager had to attend to. So he just cancelled his urgent staff meeting.

There are two issues here, bad time management and bad planning on the part of senior managers. In addition this shows a total lack of standards and a total disregard for the time and productivity of others. Where does leadership by example come in and where are the issue of time management and diaries gone?

Managers at whatever level must realise they need to be in control and pre plan activities that require meetings. They cannot and must not expect (except in absolute emergencies) employees to drop everything at their beck and call.

Subordinates must also learn to say - I’m sorry I have a prior engagement – nothing can happen for doing so irrespective of what you may think.

When you have an appointment with a person and phone them at short notice to cancel you show a total lack of professionalism and a total disrespect for that person. Emergencies are something else - this is not what I am referring to. I’m talking about the notice you get to say your GM wants you in a meeting tomorrow when you already have a meeting with someone else.

Managers, even the CEO, must learn to manage their time and respect the time of others.

Des Squire (Managing member) AMSI and ASSOCIATES cc [email protected]

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