By Anna McDermott

On The PR Maven® Podcast episode 24, Nancy got to speak with David Lee, owner of Human Nature@Work and an internationally recognized authority on organizational and managerial practices that optimize employee performance. He shared some excellent tips on how to better understand your co-workers and employees, but one thing that really struck a chord with me was this quote David mentioned from Jim Carey: “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.”

David Lee, Owner of Human Nature at Work

David went on to say that whatever emotions we trigger in people become associated with us. You know those people in your life who when you see an email or text from them, you immediately tense up or feel stressed? And those who when they contact you can suddenly make your day a bit brighter? Well, you certainly don’t want to fall in the former category for those you work with.

Think about how much difference it could make in workplace satisfaction and productivity if your “currency” with your staff or co-workers was highly valued; if your presence or communication with them had an immediately positive reaction. They would want to help you on projects and know their contribution would be appreciated. They would feel more comfortable coming to you with problems. You would be able to ask them to go above and beyond sometimes and they would do it happily for you.

David gave several examples of ways that people create a negative effect on their peers. Complaining all the time, bad mouthing others or blaming them, talking about how terrible everything is – these all contribute to damaging the effect you have on people.

If you know that you sometimes are guilty of doing the above, don’t worry. David gave tips on how to change the effect you have at work or in life. Be generous with your attention. Encourage people, give compliments and be enthusiastic. “Let people know you see their awesomeness,” said David. With your employees, be really focused and pay attention to what they’re saying.

If there is a person who you feel negatively about, there’s a good chance they feel the same way about you. Try an experiment for a week or two; whenever you see them, greet them with enthusiasm and ask a real question and listen to their answer. Maybe mention something from your conversation to them in a day or two – showing that you were truly paying attention. When they email you, respond promptly and with kindness. In this way, you can start to change what emotion you trigger in people, and in return, perhaps how they affect you.

The PR Maven® Podcast is presented by Marshall Communications, creator of The Marshall Plan® strategic process. The Marshall Plan is a fully customized document using our 65 proprietary steps and leads to playbook for your success. If you think your business or organization would be a candidate for a Marshall Plan, you can take our Marshall Plan quiz to find out. Visit