People-first leadership: Make the First Five Minutes count

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Some things just seem made for one another. Peanut butter and jelly. Movies and popcorn. Summer days and sunroofs. The combination enhances our experience in a way that’s almost like magic.

So why are so many many meetings anything but magical?

One reason is that we tend to run what I call “either or” meetings. We can talk about the work we need to do OR we can talk about people-related matters like personal development, and building on human connection. Not both. This is like saying, “Would you like macaroni or cheese?”

In many organizations, the work dominates the agenda of most meetings. It’s easy to understand why. There’s always a need for status updates, deliverables, and troubleshooting. Throw in constant organizational change, inevitable surprises, and time pressure, and there’s certainly a lot to talk about!

Making time for the human element

If we push the people bits to the periphery, however, we invite new problems. A McKinsey study found that 51% of exiting employees cited a lack of belonging as a key contributor to their departure decision. All work and no connection makes workers restless.

In response to this, many managers schedule dedicated development sessions with their direct reports.

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