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Susan M. Heathfield

Celebrate Valentine's Day by Valuing Coworkers

By February 14, 2014

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A few years ago, a young colleague who was divorcing after a romance and marriage that lasted from high school until her mid-twenties, made a statement so profound that I am not sure she realizes how profound it was. She said to me, "He only had one note and, after all of these years, I just got tired of listening to it."

Just as an emotional range is important in a marriage, an emotional range in dealing with coworkers and reporting staff is critical. I have learned the most significant factor in people wanting to team with coworkers and follow their manager. It is the ability of the manager, as an example, to demonstrate that he or she values the employees who report to him or her. Respect for and valuing people trumps just about everything else.

So, conflict over ideas is okay. Conflict that devalues people is not. Making thoughtful mistakes should be okay and used as learning experiences in a good company. Whether the team member or reporting staff member is perfect is not the question; value is not measured by perfection. Value is fundamentally deserved by people in a work place. It is the emotional perception that is the most important. If people feel respected and valued, just about everything good follows at work.

So, happy Valentine's Day. Use it as an opportunity to value and respect your family, friends, and coworkers and allow your value for people to overflow into the weeks and years to come.

Image Donna Rae Moratelli

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