Whether you went to college or university, you doubtlessly had that one professor who, by the end of the semester, you dreaded taking a class with, and for the rest of your time at school, you made it a point of avoiding taking any courses they taught.
However, 3C Contact Services, the top provider of outsourced call center services, tells their partners and recent graduates just entering the workforce that the professor they disliked taught them valuable lessons that they can apply to their professional lives, such as:
How not to talk to people:
You probably had that one professor with a complete lack of social skills whom you wondered how they remained in a teaching position. They actually taught you a valuable lesson about how not to deal with people. Whether it’s your co-workers or employees, you should always make it a point of being approachable.
Everyone has something valuable to contribute:
Do you remember how that professor would always go to the same students for answers, ignoring others? Give everyone in your organization equal treatment; for all you know, that quiet employee who mostly keeps to themselves may just have valuable ideas. And don’t pay favourites and let your employees hog all the glory; there’s nothing worse than a know-it-all who dominates every conversation.
Listen and empathize:
At one point during their studies, everyone probably had to deal with a completely unavailable professor who kept irregular office hours, and when you tried to talk to them about any concerns you had, they would, at best, give you half an ear. When an employee or co-worker comes to you with any concerns, always listen to them, and if you feel they’re worrying unnecessarily, always look at the concern from their perspective.
If you manage a large team, it may be hard to give everyone the attention they deserve while finding time to perform your own duties. However, if an employee comes to you, always try to give them attention or suggest a time that might work better for you. Simply saying, “I understand, but this isn’t the best time. I’ll be more than happy to speak to you later,” and giving them a time they can come to visit you shows that even though you’re busy, you’ll set aside time to hear their concerns—something many of us wish our worst professors did.
If you’re in a management position, you’re a bit like a professor yourself; teaching new employees the skills they need to succeed within the organization. 3C Contact Services recommends you keep everything you learned from your best and worst professors in mind, whether you’re just starting in the workforce or you’ve been working for years.