I’ve been guilty of attempting to cajole or nudge a manager into their people leadership responsibilities by underplaying the energy, effort and time required. In the face of a seasoned thought leader (also a team leader!) who was exasperated by the idea of regular feedback conversations, I tried to skinny down what it would look like to provide meaningful feedback. That person left our conversation leaning into their identity as a subject matter expert and squeezing people leadership into the odd minutes in between presentations and writing.

Minimizing the actual responsibility of guiding and developing people doesn’t end well. It’s a disservice to those who step into manager roles and it fully fails the staff on the team.

Managing is an important responsibility. It is time consuming. Done well, it requires deep and consistent intellectual and emotional engagement. It requires skill and competence in coaching, guiding, listening and developing.

There are days when those one-on-ones feel like they are soaking up time you don’t have. There are days when getting up and walking around are eating into the only time you have to prepare for a meeting or finalize a report. YES, this feels like effort. It feels that way because it IS effort. Managing, coaching, listening, and helping people grow are time consuming practices. We do ourselves a disservice when we try to paint managing as something you can work into micro-moments, in between your “real” responsibilities.

If you want to know how you’re really showing up as a manger, look at your calendar. Are you spending your time with your team? Are you giving feedback? Are you asking instead of telling – making thoughtful choices about the kinds of questions you’re asking to help spur growth?

For managers, what’s the one step you can take to be the best version of your coaching self? It does take time. It will eat up the hours of your days and weeks. It’s meant to. It’s your role.

Three other things from me this week. I’m an over-hoster and this is a great read for those of us who over-orchestrate in many areas of our lives. This omelet with boursin and pototo chips appeals to me…even though I’m not into eggs. And…four minutes of very cool jellyfish facts.

Two practical reads on managing managing here and here.