As a reminder to all of us who lead others — your office may be your own trap!  Yes, we may have a private office, perhaps the “corner office,” — the office may be a reward for hard work, dedication and getting results. But the physical office itself can be a trap. Well that may be a slight exaggeration. However, just be aware.

To really know what is going on with the peeps, we must invest the time to get out there and talk with them. Out there walking around and visiting them is one of the best ways to learn what people are thinking. I do realize this suggestion is time consuming. I can tell you by all accounts the investment of time has brought great results. I remember the first time I started my “walk arounds,” people would almost “jump up to attention.” It seemed like a surprise attack. After one or two times, the shock disappeared.

My so called agenda was about them, and  I soon discovered they could feel it. Simple questions like: What are you working on? What are you frustrated about? What could we do to give you more support? What is most exciting for you now? You get the idea—make it about them, stay curious and be genuinely interested in learning about them.

Please don’t misunderstand. There is no substitute for one-to-one coaching, mentoring. However, that is not possible for everyone. Obviously the size of the company is a factor. We need to pick our best opportunity to connect. I encourage you to do more Leadership by Walking Around (LBWA). You will receive valuable information.