What I Learned From Betty The Typing Pool Supervisor About Relationship Building

30 June 2020 it was 40 years since I entered the world of work. All sorts of little reminders have been popping into my head in recent weeks and months

One I recalled and brought a smile to my face was when I was in my second job as an Internal Auditor.

This was 1986.

If you wanted a report typed you had to take it to the typing pool. A group of ladies who spent all day typing letters, reports and memos.  There were no computers or word processors back then.

The supervisor was usually a pretty strong person and Betty who ran the typing pool fell into that category.

Most of the internal audit team had made one big mistake that resulted in them not getting their reports done very quickly.

They tried to tell Betty that their document was priority.

Quickly realising that this was never going to work, I decided to take a different approach.

Every time I went into the typing pool I would ask Betty how she and the girls were. Empathised with them about how it was so unfair that they were being asked to do so much work.

I always told Betty when I handed over my document for typing that I knew how busy and there were and no rush.

My reports were usually done in a couple of hours.

So what’s the learning points for any accountant or professional looking to build better relationships?

  1. Treat everyone with respect whether they are the most senior or most junior person in the organisation.
  2. People are not their job title.  The ladies who worked in the typing pool cared about their work, were committed and at the same time were nice people.
  3. Build rapport and show an interest in others.
  4. Don’t be pushy and make unreasonable demands.
  5.  Look to create a win win outcome in any relationship.

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