How unwittingly annoying are you?

By October 10, 2011Best Practices

Every time I become aware that I have inadvertently annoyed a business associate (i.e., customer, co-worker, colleague, whatever) I try to write down what I did.  Writing about something fixes the memory strongly and permanently.  This is one of those situations.

Trust me.  You do this, and you are annoying.

Time management.  There is not enough time.  We need to invest every minute wisely.  The cell phone is an outstanding tool in this regard.  We all have phone calls to make that are of secondary importance.  Most (not all!) of us can drive and focus enough on a “B” level sort of conversation simultaneously.  So consider this scenario…

I’ve got a 45 minute ride ahead of me.  I need to call you about one of those “B” items, so I do.  With say, 30 of my 45 minutes to productively fill, I decide to add a little relationship-building and ask about your son’s baseball game, and tell you about my daughter’s vacation, and comment on the driving skills of those around me.  With still 20 minutes to productively fill, I bounce a few strategic ideas off you, “because your opinion is really valuable with this sort of thing.”  With still 10 more minutes to productively fill, I ask about what’s on your strategic plate.  With one more minute to productively fill, I tell you about the new implementation schedule for Project X; the only reason I called to begin with.  Then I abruptly tell you I have arrived at my destination and need to go, g-bye.

Wow!  Great time management!  For me…  Meanwhile, you were up to your pa-toot in alligators dealing with 37 critical issues and just had yours truly blow 29 vital minutes right out of the middle of your day discussing miscellaneous “stuff.”

I won’t ask if you have ever done this to someone, because there are two better questions.

  1. When was the last time you filled your dead time by unwittingly stealing someone else’s crunch time?
  2. How often do you fill your dead time by unwittingly stealing someone else’s crunch time?

Just exactly how unwittingly annoying are you?

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