Why do you talk to employees?

According to a participant in a class I led recently there are three reasons to talk to employees:

  1. They are not getting their job done.
  2. They are preventing others from getting their job done.
  3. They broke the rules.

The participant shared that they picked up this rule of thumb in a management training class they took over 30 years ago. This was not shared in a “Can you believe they said that?” kind of way. It was brought up in a “Here’s something I learned a long time ago and still rely on today” kind of way.

I have two thoughts about this:

  1. Thirty years later, we need a new list.
  2. Be careful what you say. Someone might just memorize and apply it for the next 30 years.

Here’s a partial list of reasons to talk to your employees:

  1. You like them.
  2. You’re interested in them.
  3. You want the best for them.
  4. You’re excited to work together.
  5. You want to learn from them.
  6. You want to teach them.
  7. You want to help them.
  8. You want to challenge them.
  9. You want to encourage them.
  10. You want to console them.
  11. You believe that connection is essential for impact.
  12. You believe that relationship is the source of meaning.
  13. You are always eager for a reality check.
  14. You believe that “we” are smarter than “me.”
  15. You believe that they are indispensable to your success.
  16. It would be no fun without them.
  17. They make you better.
  18. Et cetera…

What’s on your old list? What will be on your new one?

Slowly, slowly, slowly the tide is turning. It is turning. We have to believe that.

More importantly, we have to act as if we believe it.

DAVID BERRY is the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world, especially the parts where he doesn’t handle it very well. If you enjoyed this post someone else might, too. Please pass it along.

2 thoughts on “Why do you talk to employees?

  1. Nice stuff David,

    I’m finally working on my second book… I guess my answer to the “reasons you talk to employees” would be “to keep Relationships and Results going great!”

    The book is short… like a children’s book. Quick read. Anyway, when I finish, may I send a draft to you, and IF you like it, would you be willing to write some kind of endorsement?

    Hope all’s well with you my friend.

    Best Always,

    Doug Walker
    Manager, HR Services, Service Operations

    3570 Carmel Mountain Rd.|Suite 180|San Diego, CA|92130
    OFFICE: 858-523-7840 | Mobile: 858-860-4012 | FAX: 858-523-7890

    [WorforceOpt]

  2. I was not going to read this because the title suggested the topic would not apply to me. I’m glad I did. I wonder with how many people this post resonated? Your #2 on your “two thoughts” made me laugh. You are very clever and I like reading you. signed, a fan

    From: RULE13 Learning To: kayoshea@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:46 PM Subject: [New post] “Why do you talk to employees?” #yiv9883682971 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv9883682971 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv9883682971 a.yiv9883682971primaryactionlink:link, #yiv9883682971 a.yiv9883682971primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv9883682971 a.yiv9883682971primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv9883682971 a.yiv9883682971primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv9883682971 WordPress.com | David Berry posted: “According to a participant in a class I led recently there are three reasons to talk to employees: They are not getting their job done. They are preventing others from getting their job done. They broke the rules.The participant shared that th” | |

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