Lately, I must admit to being guilty of closing my door, more often than not, to wade through the myriad of management tasks that can easily consume one’s day. I know from experience this is a trap that’s easy to fall into, so it’s a timely reminder that the amount of time leaders spend interacting or managing has a huge impact on their teams.

Management tasks are what keep leaders inaccessible, disconnected, and working at their desk. Leadership, meanwhile, requires effectively interacting with others—being out front and having regular interactions with people. Effective interactions are what make up the core of leadership and are the moments where leaders connect, with the conversations they have with team members, peers, and customers defining how effective (or ineffective) they are.

Development Dimensions International (DDI)  recently released the Global Leadership Forecast series, examining responses from 2,102 human resource executives and 15,787 leaders around the world asking key questions around some common leadership challenges.

Unfortunately, they found that person-to-person interaction is happening less and less in the workplace. Leaders at all levels reported feeling overburdened with tasks they need to manage and are not able to spend as much time interacting as they would like (refer to pg.20-21).

On average, leaders prefer to spend almost half (41%) of their time interacting, but currently only spend about a quarter of their workday (27%) interacting with others. This is a harmful trend for engagement, and, even worse, leaders feel their organisations want them to be spending even more time managing than they are.


Leaders who take the time to priortise daily interactions are shown to be more engaged, feel energised, have a strong sense of purpose in their work and rate their leadership of a higher quality.

So its a good reminder to us all to take the time to interact with your team, whether its face-to-face or via Zoom. This new research clearly shows that leaders who spend more time managing (than interacting) are more likely to feel ‘used up’ at the end of the day and are 32% less engaged.

Download the full DDI Global Leadership Forecast report


Louise Green is a senior organisational development and executive selection consultant for Sheffield South Island. With over 20 years’ experience as a facilitator, consultant and HR professional, her skillset includes: 

CEO and Board performance reviews, 360 surveys, Organisational Development, Leadership Development, Executive Recruitment, Succession Planning, Change Projects, Team Building and Executive Coaching.  

Louise can be reached at 

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