I might soon write about the “hidden secret” of our field. That thing that we all got at some point along the way, independent of others or training, that sets the successful individuals apart from the ones languishing in hatred toward others. (Maybe that’s the secret? Don’t hate others?) Until then, I wanted to first show another email my manager and I received, then maybe talk about it a little bit.
Here’s the email with some of the proprietary information obscured:
I just wanted to send kudos for Anthony. He has been doing [work] in our department. I have noticed his interactions with people and he is very helpful, knowledgeable, thorough, communicates well and follows up.
I had the pleasure of having him [work on] mine today and I am really impressed with his service. It’s so refreshing to see people who believe in great service for both internal and external customers. He has been great, answered all my questions, did a fabulous job getting [work done] with no issues. Very efficient!
I really appreciate him and think he sets a good example.
Just wanted to pass this along to you as I feel strongly that it is important to recognize people who take pride in their job and give great service.
At this point now, having received so many of these emails, you might think I’m cheating.
Not really. “The hidden secret” I mentioned earlier, well, is just to be more polite than the average. I naturally dig what people do. I’m curious about the world around me. If the customer is anxious, I’ll figure out what is causing them anxiety. If it’s outside of work, I just keep it brief. If they’re stressed about something related to work, well, that’s why we’re here: we bang our heads against a problem so they don’t have to do that.
I also don’t mind spending extra time with people. We have a job to do, and ideally it’s better to do as much work as we can, but I was brought up to value quality over quantity.
Once you’re able to produce something well, then you can focus on increasing the speed.
If you haven’t quite learned how to do something right, you’ll be slow. Just keep going. When I work, I’ll always accidentally start with the most inefficient route, maybe because when it comes to something completely new I’m just trying to understand what’s going on. After I’ve done it a few times, I’ll gradually figure out a good rhythm, and before long, I’ve got it down.
I’ll end on an anonymous quote I was reminded of while writing the text above:
Amateurs practice till they get it right.
Professionals practice till they can’t get it wrong.
“The hidden secret” is that, in not my own words, I try to find the light of genius in every person. Using my words now, I meet people at their level, translate the technical jargon into relatable ideas, and help people feel better.