Doug Conant, former CEO of the Campbell Soup Company, and leadership expert and author, tells us not to worry if we only get 11 minutes of heads-down work time before someone interrupts us. Yes, that’s what the research tells us, we are interrupted every 11 minutes, and that is excluding our own interruptions to look at our email or check our bidding for a banjo on eBay. (In the middle of a doctor’s appointment, the good doctor excused himself to see how he was doing on eBay! True story.)
Hallway Highjack – A Good Thing
Why does Doug Conant say that a knock on your door, or ‘I just need a few minutes of your time’ as you walk down the hall is an opportunity, not an annoying interruption? Conant sees these interruptions in a positive way; he calls them touchpoints.
How to Create a Touchpoint
Doug Conant’s advice when you experience an interruption is to make it an effective interaction: “Listen to the interruption, frame the issue in some way, and advance the conversation…it’s all about being very alert to these conversations and making the most of them instead of dismissing them so you can get back to work. What you make out of all those small everyday encounters defines your impact on your organization and ultimately, your reputation.”
Read a very good interview with Doug Conant, Why Small Interactions Matter, from the Gallup Business Journal to learn more.
Fans of Conant
We are Fans of Conant. Please check out his website and @DougConant