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Tough Love in the Workplace: “Everyone who wants a call/chat with me must fill in an application”

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I haven’t laughed this hard for a while – and I can’t say this Harvard Business Review blogger doesn’t offer *some* great advice. But I’m not so sure anyone below C or D level (C=Chutzpah, D=Dilbert) could carry off the “chat application” requirement without subordinates having a field day about it during happy hour:

From “Stop People From Wasting Your Time”:

Excerpt: “…. Force others to prepare. We all hope and expect that others will prepare for meetings with us. Surprisingly often, they don’t. Even when they’re requesting the meeting, they may have done very little research and waste our time with extremely basic questions they could have Googled. Instead, we need to force others to prepare in advance. “Force” is a harsh word, and that’s intentional ­— because it’s not burdensome for people who would have prepared anyway, yet it effectively weeds out the uncommitted. Debbie Horovitch, a specialist in Google+ Hangouts, has long offered complimentary initial strategy sessions, but realized that some people were taking advantage with irrelevant discussions.

She’s adopted a new policy: “Everyone who wants a call/chat with me must fill in an application” with specific questions about what will be discussed. “Now that I’ve set my boundaries and expectations of the people I work with, it’s much easier to identify the time wasters.” Similarly, when people request informational interviews with me, I’ve begun sending them a document with links to articles I’ve written about their area of interest (becoming a consultant or speaker, reinventing their careers, etc.) and asking them to get back in touch after they’ve read them to see what questions they still have. Most never get back to me, which is just as well ­— I only want to speak with people who are interested and committed….” [Link to full article.]

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