Busy people aren’t nice because in the time they can pay attention to you, they have fires to put out.
Empathy, listening, compassion – all of those qualities don’t scale. They require slack in the system – the ability to pause and to pay attention to whomever we engage with. A culture of busyness does not encourage this. That is perhaps one reason why people in busy cities are considered rude.
Busyness within an organization isn’t usually the busy person’s fault. That depends on whoever is making them busy. As a manager or a team leader, it is your duty to give them enough slack to listen to customers, train new co-workers and do a job that they are proud of. It is your job to be the doctor – to detect and to treat busyness as soon as it appears.
If you don’t, your team and its customers will bear the brunt of that chronic illness.