“Stop writing emails and pick up the phone!”

Emails are an easy way to avoid verbal confrontations, and I often rely on them to keep a written track of what was said so that I can reference back if needed.  However, they also keep me from building relationships with others, and getting my work done quickly.  They prevent the rapid flow of information a typical conversation has and it’s really hard to get the emotional point across the right away.  If there is one thing I have learned from my current supervisor, it’s to stop writing emails and just pick up the phone.  As my boss says, it’s better to pick up the phone and hash things out.  You will get so much more work done while building relationships with others.

“Let’s take a break and really think about what we want to accomplish here.”

My previous supervisor had a very succinct way of conversing and always seemed to get to the right solution quickly.  When I first started working with her, I found that I would get so excited about an issue I was trying to solve that I would try and talk my way through it to her.  Because she had little time, she would always stop me and ask what I was really trying to accomplish.  Her simple questions would quickly turn my problem into a solution within minutes.  After I short period of time, I learned that it is sometimes important set aside your emotional attachment to a project or challenge, and take a moment to look at the facts.  The solution always comes much quicker that way.

Showing others proof of repetitive negative behavior can be a real eye opener

I worked as a barista a while back and quickly transitioned into a leadership role.  At the time I had an employee that was consistently late for work and no matter how often I scolded him he continue to show up late.  After relaying my issue to the store manager, he showed me a coaching trick that rarely ever failed him.  He pulled a report that reflected all the time clock punches the employee had over the course of the past few months and showed it to him.  After seeing a physical report of how often he was coming in late and listening to the manager talk about the difficulty in creating a work schedule that was fair to all his “reliable” employees, he started taking more interest in coming in on time.

What lessons have you learned from your supervisors that have helped you in your career or business today?