Great Strides and Small Steps: Loyalty #1
Taking small steps to improve the lives of those we work with often lead to great strides. Whether it’s a fellow attorney, legal assistant, office manager or receptionist makes no difference. The really good news about these small steps is a great irony- what we do for others we do to ourselves.
Try an experiment for the next two weeks. First, identify two people in the office that you want to run the experiment on. Then write down on a piece of paper, on you computer or phone, three aspects of who they are that you like the most- feel free to add more.
Next, write down three ways that you can show your appreciation for how they make your life better by being who they are. Try getting them their favorite drink at your local coffee shop, looking them in the eyes and thanking them for the great work they they do. Or even try letting them know how invaluable their work is in an email with a specific thank you- not the standard “Thanks”.
Lastly, sometime during the first week spend one minute thinking about what you can do different that makes it easier for them to do their job. Write down three things you could do, they can be really easy, like not waiting until the last minute to give them a project. If you can’t think of three changes you can make, then ask them. You can say something like “I really like working with you. You do great work. I was thinking the other day, what can I do different or better to make your job easier.” You are not so much looking for tasks to do for them, but how you can otherwise operate to make their job better. It’s amazing what you can learn by this simple question.
Look at the list everyday, think about how invaluable each person is and what you can do to show your appreciation.
One of the services my legal assistant and I offer each other is what we call “hand holding”. Every now and then both of us can get stalled on a client’s case and hit avoidance mode. Have you ever done that? You know your are spending more time avoiding it and causing increased personal stress than if you just took care of it.
Every couple of weeks I tell Stephanie that I need her help taking care of something that I’m avoiding. Typically this involves her sitting down in my office and saying “how can I help?” Then I pick up the phone and make the call, or send the email or write a letter. In less than three minutes it’s done. It’s that simple.
How much we pay those who help us and the benefits we provide are important, but that’s not what is most important. It’s letting those who work with us know in tangible ways on a regular basis that we value them through our words and deeds.
The loyalty we receive from those we work with will always be directly affected by the loyalty we show for them.
Let me know, either by personal email or leaving a comment, what changes you saw over the two weeks and any insights you learned.