'The Office' to 'Mad Men': TV Guide to Career Advice - Lesson 2 of 8

Last Updated Sep 20, 2010 12:55 PM EDT

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Mark Harmon as Leroy “Jethro” Gibbs(CBS)

  • Lesson: Know your team

Jethro understands that his lab guru, Abby, needs both communication and caffeine to feel confident, so he brings her a cup of (fictional) energy drink Caf-Pow, served with a side of casual conversation. “It’s one of the hardest things to do as a manager, learning enough about your employees to treat them as individuals,” says Banks Cohn. She adds: “In Abby’s case it’s Caf-Pow.” This doesn’t mean you have to arrive at work every morning with a bag full of treats for your team. But if, for instance, certain team members aren’t morning people, try to schedule meetings with them in the afternoon, says Banks Cohn. You’re trying to get the best out of them — a good rule of thumb for any manager.

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    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MWOnTheJob.


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