This is Dr. Abi Weissman again. I'm writing in celebration of a colleague and friend's success. Weird, eh? It's true, though. Dr. Erica Wollerman's group practice turns one today and I'll be going to celebrate her and her success in an hour or two.
I'm honestly so thrilled for her. I consider her a mentor and a friend and a colleague and as such, I want to see her succeed. I first met her when she was the chair of the Early Career Psychologists (ECP), a Committee of the San Diego Psychological Association. She has this great way of being genuine and kind to others and forging real relationships and she has great advice. Even when upstart me didn't want to hear any advice, I'd want to hear what she had to say. With the birth of her little one, she stepped down from the ECP Committee and continued to rock the therapy world through her business.
Here are my two ways to show respect and appreciation to your colleagues:
1) Celebrate their successes with them
Attend their events. You know how hard it is to get people to an event, right? So, show up for others' events and bring your cheer. This is not a time to show up to praise yourself but a time to get to know how to best support your colleague in rockin' their wins.
Don't be a Debbie Downer. Don't heap despair and "would-bes" (as in, this event would be cool if. . . ) onto their hopes and dreams. Instead, if they need any reminders, authentically share all the ways their event, gathering, pure awesomeness, and well, successes rock!
2) Send them referrals
I often send Erica and her team referrals because I believe in the power of their expertise in working with families and children. I also do this in the service of referrals and/or clients in wanting them to have the best help possible and if I know a clinician who would be a better match, I'd want to connect them.
So, in short, to show respect and appreciation for colleagues, I 1) celebrate their successes and 2) send them referrals.
To me, this was always, well, just what I did. As I shared about my policies on not taking every client who was referred to me with my loved ones, they often commented with surprise! They wanted to know why I sent people away and I wanted to make it clear that I wasn't sending people away from me, that I was sending people towards the best help possible for their needs. And, colleagues have responded in kind, sending me referrals that better fit my expertise than theirs. I love that we work together to support people getting the best mental health care possible for their needs.
How do you show respect and appreciation to your colleagues? What do you wish that they did for you to show their respect for you? Please respond below. I'd love to hear what you think below in the comments.
Dr. Abi Weissman
Waves, A Psychological Corporation