by Beth Doperak MacRae

“I believe that everyone has a unique characteristic that they bring to a group, and that there’s an
energy that is contributing to a greater cause. But how do you create that energy? How do you
make a person care and feel like they have a purpose?

Showing them attention, giving them a role and supporting them. Make it clear that your
intention is to use their skills, knowledge, and abilities to make something better. People want to
believe that they matter, that they are part of something. An employee is more than a number,
they are a contributing member of a team, group, office, organization. By taking the time and
effort to invest in each member of a team, the results are unlimited.

I recall having a supervisor who always had my back, trusted me, asked for my opinion, and
gave me space to grow. They were part of my life and I was part of theirs. My contributions
mattered and were part of the overall success of the team. It was a give and take, they
supported me and I supported them. I like to think of it as sharing a meal, the supervisor set the
table and prepared the food, the team members ate and cleaned up. The food was presented
family style, allowing everyone to take what and how much they wanted. And everyone sat
together, sharing in the food, conversation, and energy. The time together, being thankful for the
food, eating, drinking, discussing, learning, and laughing is how I imagine working with a great

When you’re part of a team where there is true work/life balance, everyone pitches in and
contributes to the energy of the work. You build relationships based on work ethic, personalities,
experiences, and choosing to be together. Peer support becomes as important as supervisor
support because you’re in it together, sitting at the table, sharing the food, and creating the
memories of being part of something. When people see that they have a seat at the table, a
place to participate, contribute, their energy shifts because they have a purpose. They enjoy the
moment, pass the food, converse, thank the cook, and clean up because they are part of
something greater than themselves.

Take the time to focus on the people, their needs, wants, emotions, and aspirations, and you
will develop an energy that is priceless.”

Beth Doperak MacRae is a Business Strategist and Coach at the General Services Administration (GSA). As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine from 2006 to 2008, Beth garnered invaluable insights into communication, relationship building, project management, and effective execution – skills she seamlessly applies to her current role. In 2016, Beth completed her coaching training from iPEC. Her dedication and expertise have earned her the designation of Professional Certified Coach (PCC) from the International Coach Federation (ICF). Beth coaches all levels of employees at GSA and other government agencies. She focuses on goal setting, career development, transition planning, and emotional intelligence with her clients. Beth received her B.A. in History and International Studies from Denison University and her Master’s in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh. Beth is a proud mother of Luke (13) and Lily (9) and lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.