Manage By Wandering About

Ever wonder how people “see” you in your office? If this video is any clue, they may need to see you a bit more often.

If this is how you are seen, you might consider practing a little more “MBWA”. This term was coined by the founders of Hewlett Packard and later attributed to them by Tom Peters and others. The benefits to MBWA are many, and can be found here or here or here.

There are a few repetitive points in all three of these descriptions. First, this is a time to listen. This is not the time to wander about repeating the same message to everyone individually (hint – again – …”Its not about YOU”). This is your opportunity to hear what’s happening. Consider checking out the active listening skill as this is an excellent time to use it. Next, understand and appreciate that this is not the time for critique (and you may not be the right one for providing it). While there may be legitimate times for an “inspection”, MBWA is not it, especially in a public setting. This is an excellent time however to catch people “doing things right”. Say so. Lastly, it is critical you follow up on suggestions or observations made by your team. Soliciting feedback and then failing to follow up undermines the purpose for the exercise.

So, in closing…let the Pointy Haired One explain…