Jeff Yonkers talks about the best professional advice he ever received. The Trusted Professional
The best professional advice I’ve ever received came to me from a former manager. What he told me was to always respect and appreciate your staff, never expecting them to do something that you, yourself, would not do. In other words, treat your staff as you’d like to be treated—a principle that many of us are taught but do not always practice. This is a simple idea that, when practiced regularly, yields great benefits. I’ve found over the years that people want to feel appreciated— something that comes with being treated with respect.
Respect and appreciation can be offered in many different ways. Have you ever gone into a colleague’s office to resolve an issue and he continues to answer his PDA, e-mail or phone? How did that make you feel? As soon as a member of my staff enters my office, I offer my full attention. I don’t allow any interruptions; I respect his or her time.
In this impersonal technological age, I also make it a point to thank people in person. Instead of just shooting them an e-mail, I go to their desk and tell them that they did a nice job, shake their hands and say “thank you.” It shows appreciation and respect. As many of us know, your staff works harder and goes the extra mile when they’re respected and feel appreciated. As a leader, I think it’s important to exhibit that same high level of respect and appreciation toward staff members as you would toward your clients.