When you hear the word “work,” you might associate it with sitting at a computer or cutting the grass. Yet, there are three aspects of work that few consider.

The power of listening
Listening well is a job that takes plenty of work. To do it right, you have to pay attention and make appropriate eye contact.

And you have to be thinking at the same time, not of something else but about what you are hearing. What’s more, even if you think you have something to add, you can’t interrupt. You have to wait your turn to comment or to ask a question.

The importance of admitting
Admitting that you don’t understand is basic to getting more information. It works in conversations, but admitting that you will need help with a job or project is even more important.

Some people won’t admit to making a mistake. They are afraid that it will hurt their perfect image, bring more work or invite future blame. While pretending to be infallible, however, they may not learn or grow.

The virtue of thanking
Thanking someone for a favor or extra help shouldn’t be work; it should be an automatic response. The one who should be thanked will notice if you don’t do it.

Stories abound about people finding money, returning a wallet, or saving someone’s life, and not a word of thanks was given.

Sometimes people are embarrassed or self-conscious of the fact that they needed help, lost something or needed to be rescued. That shouldn’t keep them from showing appreciation.

Simple courtesy requires a thanks for little things. A note, email, or gift is better for a big thing like saving your life, literally or not.