Get advice on how to deal with jerks at work Check out the book 'Jerks At Work' and other titles by Ken Lloyd Ph.D. Return to the homepage Learn more about Ken Lloyd, Ph.D. Submit a question to Ken Lloyd, Ph.D.

You asked, Ken answers ...

This item is filed under these categories:
Automobiles Meetings Time Management

Our company has several branches between fifty and one hundred miles from the corporate office. As branch managers, we waste many hours going to and from the office to attend meetings, sometimes three times a week. I told the corporate staff they need to schedule more of these meetings on one day, but they never do this. How do I get through to them?

Your company gives a whole new meaning to the importance of having employees with a great deal of drive. In terms of getting through to the corporate staff, you told them that they need to schedule more of these meetings on one day. However, when you tell people what they need to do, they often react with resistance. Try using a sales approach that tailors your comments to the needs, objectives, and style of these corporate personnel.

For example, if they are financial types, you should make a thorough, detailed presentation that spells out the costs of the current scheduling and the savings associated with your approach. By letting them see that your thinking is similar to theirs, you are far more likely to influence them. Be sure to mention the value of various high-tech solutions, such as videoconferencing, audioconferencing, and screensharing.

If the meeting schedule still appears to be better suited for stock car drivers than managers, one near-term option is to try to make the rides more productive, such as by listening to management tapes along the way. However, if the lack of topside responsiveness is typical of the way that branch managers are treated, perhaps it is time to focus more on the direction in which you are driving your career.

Comment on this item

Your name (optional)
If you leave this blank, we'll list you as "Website visitor"

Your comments
Please keep your comments focused on the topic. Thanks!