03 – LESSONS

No regrets in life, just lessons learnt.

Sharing knowledge strengthens our own personal development and helps others benefit too.

 

We have two ears & one mouth

We should use them appropriately. Too often we are selective in what we hear and carry out the wrong instructions. When given a task to undertake; such as a brief for a project, ‘listen’. Write notes as you go along and ask questions. Never make assumptions and always confirm you understand what is required. Adjust where necessary, until you are satisfied the task is correct. It will save you time, reduce risk and possibly money later.

Manners cost nothing

My parents taught me to respect others from a young age and it has served me well in the workplace. People are more inclined to give assistance if you are polite, patient and show gratitude. Having worked to deadline-driven environments, with fast turnarounds; last minute requests were common. No one likes demands placed upon them when time is limited, even when it is part of their job role. Tell someone their efforts were valued and appreciated, they may be more willing to help you next time…There is always a next time! 

Be respectful 

No need to yell! Being shouted at and humiliated should be forbidden in any work environment, but unfortunately, it still happens. If this should happen to you, do not be tempted to react in the same manner. Instead, balance your emotions, compose yourself and respond calmly. It is likely the aggressor is also undergoing immense pressure elsewhere, so try to react calmly and professionally; chances are they may return later to apologize. Stress in the workplace is on the rise, be considerate of your colleagues’ needs; offering to help or carry out simple tasks yourself could relieve some pressure. 

 

There is no ‘I’ in team 

We are generally at work for at least 35 hours a week and are integrated with people from different backgrounds, status, skills, experience and personalities; thus, creating an environment to co-exist amicably should be encouraged. Know your strengths – stepping in to assist or mentor a colleague when needed will improve relationships and boost team morale. If you are working on a similar piece of work, campaign or project as another team, communicate regularly to ensure your work is aligned and constant. This will improve efficiency, visibility and brand consistency. 

 

Respect other people’s time 

I was employed by a company that had an agreed 7 minute ‘late’ window for all meetings. Unfortunately, this decision was unfair and affected those who turned up on time, as frequently, last items on the Agenda were either rushed or left out. Deadlines are put in place for a reason and if missed could have numerous knock on effects, for example, hefty fines by external governance for late submissions. Therefore, it is imperative to create key milestones to track progress and meet deadlines. Schedule calendar reminders to ensure that tasks are being completed as planned – stop, review and adjust. 

 

Written by: Althea Blake 

Founder and Senior Consultant of ROOTS POD Ltd 

A project management consultancy in Harlow. www.rootspod.co.uk