“A successful team is many voices with a single heart.” – John C. Maxwell
“Relationships help us to define who we are and what we can become. Most of us can trace our successes to pivotal relationships.” – Donald Clifton and Paula Nelson
Dotted Line’s core values guide how we work with each other and with each client every day. At the top of that list: Treat others the way you would want to be treated. But it tends to be the least talked about and most misunderstood value.
We intentionally listed this first among our six values because it’s our guiding star for how we operate in our team-based model. In other words, if we do our best to treat others well in our daily work and interactions, living the rest of our values will come to us more naturally. It’s a big reason why this is a rule we’ve encouraged our team to follow since our earliest days.
Our decisions can impact more than just ourselves. How we treat others is how we invite others to treat us. This goes beyond simply being kind to each other. It’s thinking about others the way you want to be thought of. Feeling about others the way you want to others to feel about you. Speaking to others the way you want to be spoken to.
A well-intentioned culture, competitive benefits and rock-star team members who are known and recognized by our clients – these things are all wonderful. But if we don’t build strong one-to-one relationships within our own team, nothing else really matters. Treating others the way we want to be treated is an easy start to relationship-building. If we forget this, the risk of becoming our own worst enemy becomes greater.
Bringing this Value to Life
Each day, I approach how I engage with those around me – in my family, at work, among friends and within my communities – by aiming to live this value. To start, this means treating people with kindness and respect, but it goes much further. For me, that means I want to know:
- my hard work will be noticed and recognized by my people leader;
- team members are excited when I join them on a new assignment;
- I can contribute new ideas in a group setting without being shot down or ignored,
- others value my contributions to making our team and agency better;
- if I have an off morning, someone will notice and ask;
- my leaders listen and understand where I want to go with my career and are proactively helping me perform at the next level; and
- my peers see I’m committed to an amazing work product – one we’re all proud of – and that its completion makes the client happy and generates a big team win.
How we embrace and interact with each other will differentiate how we elevate our work and deliver consistent successes for the good of each team member, our agency and our clients.
So, ask yourself: Does the way I treat others within my organization lift them up and further our collective goals? How can I go beyond merely treating people with kindness and respect?