Do you schedule time to just think, or do you think in real time, on demand? It matters, you know.
I think this is especially important for HR leaders. There is probably a time of day when your thinking is clearest. A time when you can focus clearly on a matter and block out information that doesn’t matter to the problem at hand.
That’s one of the reasons I like email. I get requests frequently for projects I am working on, asking my opinion on a particular situation or scenario. I usually have an opinion that I could share immediately, but instead I put it off until a time when I am not already thinking about something else. I do this for two reasons:
- I want to make sure I am considering all the right information, and determine if there is more I should know before providing any direction
- I want to understand why the decision had to come to me, and if there is a principle that could be more clearly stated so a future similar situation will be handled closer to where it occurs
Time invested in these two points means that the next similar situation will be handled well if I am there or not.
The next time someone approaches you with a problem, and they say they want your opinion, your best response might be “Let me think about this a bit, and I’ll get back to you.” Then find the space in your schedule to think about that situation as fully as you can. It will save you time in the future.