I was asked recently about my perspective on owning a small business. When considering how to best describe it, the closest parallel I could think of is caring for a large family. When you think about it, we spend more hours each week with our coworkers than we do with our families. Over the years, we develop strong relationships with each other, especially the people with whom we work most closely. Sometimes the people you work with become close friends, and sometimes they can even start to feel like family.

The privilege of watching people learn and grow.

I can do something over and over again, but when I teach it to someone who’s doing it for the first time, I think about it in a different way. It’s interesting to follow a person’s thought process as they work through something new and ask questions. Often they have a fresh perspective and something to add that I didn’t think of. I enjoy seeing the members of my team master something new, make it their own, teach it to others and grow in their roles.

The excitement of celebrating someone’s success.

We have a talented team here and we have a lot of wins – from solving a tricky problem to excellence in client service to an exceptionally well-crafted copywriting and/or design project. We have a Slack #kickass channel that’s dedicated to giving shout outs to each other for a job well done. Any member of the team can post a message recognizing a colleague or colleagues for excellence of any kind at any time. These posts keep us positive and motivated and give us a sense of pride in our team.

The fun of learning each person’s unique personality.

Our team works well together because we take an interest in each others’ lives. We know the names of our coworkers’ kids and pets and regularly share photos of them with each other. We love that coworker with the infectious laugh, we know who prefers to stop by for a chat about a new project and who prefers to email about it, and we can often pinpoint what time a coworker will arrive in the morning or even how they’re likely to respond to an email. (I’m talking to you, Chuck.)

We are all on the same team. That’s an important distinction to us. The way that we treat each other and communicate with each other makes that evident. Our small but mighty group shares projects and works toward common goals and, in the process, we also share our lives. It’s vital that we treat each other like we treat our families – with kindness, support, respect and a heaping helping of the benefit of the doubt.

By: Leslie Galbreath

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