Are You Interruptible?

Linda Dulye's picture

Don't Interrupt.jpgConsider this scenario: You’re in a meeting discussing a key project and one of your employees has an important question or concern. Do you step away from the meeting to take the call or do you wait until the meeting’s finished?

For former UBS PaineWebber CEO Joseph Grano the answer was obvious: take the call.

Grano wanted to be accessible to his staff and he made it clear that they could interrupt his meetings with important concerns. Not every call was taken immediately; his secretary would write the caller’s name on a board and show it him. He would then decide to breakaway from the meeting or call the person back.

“That open-door policy has worked for very well me. A lot of my peers don’t have that approach. It caused some problems as you can imagine but on the other hand it’s made me more approachable and given me a better pulse”

Would you be willing to take this approach with your team? Is the short-term disruption worth the long-term impact of your accessibility and willingness to answer questions in real-time?


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