The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

This article is interesting to me for two reasons. One, it well illustrates the different type of communication preferences people have. And how that can be hard when your boss communicates differently than you.

I once had a boss who would send me a series of two-word emails throughout the day, each one bearing the same message: “Call me.” Each time I received one of these emails, the hairs on the back of my neck would stiffen and my stomach would churn violently.

The author’s reaction was never justified:

When I did call my boss, our conversation was always friendly. It might be that he wanted to get an update on a project, or ask me a quick question, or even compliment me on a presentation. It was almost never bad news.

However, I call this lazy leadership. How much more effective could this person have been if she did not worry about these email “bombs”?

The second interesting aspect of this article was her solution to what she perceived as a problem.

Inspired by Grove and Drucker’s approaches, I created my own standardized, habitual communication with my boss. My goal was to make sure that we would always be in sync, and that he had an up-to-date understanding of all my projects—which meant that we could cut down on phone calls.

She would send him an email every Friday highlighting three things: what she had done that week, what she was currently working on, and what she was waiting on. This simple once a week activity that took 15 minutes solved her problem.

Now, the part that interests me is not so much her solution, but her initiative. I’m a good example of a reactive person, who often fails to come up with proactive solutions like this. I'm learning, but it can be a painful process.