Priorities, the ones you establish in a split second, send a loud message about what and who is important to you.
Recently, one of my clients was expressing her frustration to me regarding a teammate of hers who had no respect for her time. She went on to explain that a few days ago she had a conference call scheduled for 1:00. When she made the call, the other person said, “Call me back in 15 minutes. I need to eat a sandwich.”
So let’s break this down: The bologna sandwich was more important than the teammate. Haha. Well, can you logically determine anything differently?
Now, I know this person may have been famished, but within seconds he set the playing field for his priorities, declaring that “my needs are more important than yours.” These priorities won’t just stop with the bologna.
Sometimes we send small messages of “me first” gestures, and we don’t even know it. Here are a few to watch out for if you desire to prioritize your teammates above yourself.
- Be on time to meetings. Fashionably late only works at parties!
- Respect deadlines.
- Look up from your computer and stop working when someone comes in your office. Be present for them. Your work can wait (unless it’s gossip or whining, then cut the conversation short).
- Turn your phone off the vibrate setting in a meeting. Others can hear and feel that just the same as a ring tone.
- Communicate your availability. Don’t make the team guess whether or not you will be in the office each day. Care enough to share your schedule. They don’t mind that you’re not there; they do mind that you don’t care to inform them.
- Kitchen duty! I love the dynamics of the office kitchen dishes. I have not been in an office yet that didn’t have clean-up issues. Here are my rules: If you touch it, clean it. If you have a title, you still clean up after yourself. Yes, CEO, you too!
If you think I’m full of bologna, think again. While most every example seems silly to the leader, these small actions aren’t silly to the teammates in your wake, so be aware of your priorities and know that they set a standard others will also start to follow.
Do you have a funny bologna story to share? Let’s hear it!
You know what else I learned from you? If you have a title, clean 2 dishes for every 1 you touch.
Ha-ha! Yes I love this rule. Makes some people squirm but if this is the Cathy I think it is you always served well and had to clean a lot of dishes because you kept rising to the top!
I remember a presentation that you gave many years ago. You said that you too parked in the allotted staff parking and took the few extras steps in the morning even if you weren’t going to be in the office long, because you felt it necessary to let the staff know that you too were willing to take those extra steps to get in the office. I also remember your statement about taking the time to always return the shopping cart to the designated area. Funny how things stick with you, each of those have come to mind quiet often when it would have been easier to leave the cart far out in a vacant parking spot.
Ha-ha, Vonda, not only do you have a great memory but I love that fact that some of the smallest things we discuss end up being a connector to the person. Like the shopping cart! I love it! Thanks so much for your comment and reminder to keep doing the small things that mean much to someone else.
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