August 01, 2013, 12:00 PM — Today's business motto: Do as much as you can, as fast as you can. Then do more.
Yet business expert and author Howard Pines says there are interpersonal strategies that at first glance look like time-wasters, but will pay off in the long run.
Yes, e-mail, phone calls or Skype are faster. However, coffee, lunch or any in-person time with a client or co-worker will greatly improve your relationship, Pines says.
"Relationships require trust, however, and your willingness to 'waste time' with them shows your support. If this leads to trust, they will be more open to your ideas," he adds.
Be the away team
Hosting a meeting in your office saves you time. But volunteering to meet at a colleague or client's office reveals a lot about you - and the other person.
"Like visiting someone’s home, it gives you insights about what is important to her or him," Pines notes. "Second, it indicates you value the individual and are supportive, which may again make the person more comfortable with your ideas."
Being the visitor also makes it easier to conclude the meeting and leave, he adds.
Don't work so hard
There is a career ceiling for people deemed the most-productive, Pines says. If your eye is on moving into upper management, improving your interpersonal skills - not your output - is the way to go:
"When a company is considering whom to promote to the next level, the top brass usually finds it more valuable to have an individual who is insightful about people and possesses leadership, creativity and strategic planning skills," Pines says.
If you advance into the C-level and continue to try to match your previous output, it could come back to bite you, he notes:
"Once you get to the top, being the hardest worker can be a detriment if it means having less time to provide strategy and leadership, develop talent, and foster creativity."
For more tips from Pines, click below.