Whether we like it or not, most of us spend half of our waking lives in the workplace. Considering how much time we spend there, far too few of us contemplate how to make the 9–5 grind more pleasant.
Fortunately, each one of us possesses an incredible power that we often leave unused — the power to make other peoples’ lives brighter. Kindness costs nothing but can turn someone’s entire day around. Be known as the office go-getter by lifting your coworkers up with these tips!
Honor their groove
Everyone has their own unique gifts, as well as an individualized worldview. Before initiating interactions with coworkers, take a few moments to consider what really makes them tick.
Some people thrive on competition, some in contributing to team projects and others prefer the opportunity to work independently. Some thrive on routine while others prefer more latitude in their daily schedules. Interacting with coworkers in ways that speak to their intrinsic motivations makes them feel valued.
Many employees report dissatisfaction in the workplace due to the pressure to do too much for too little reward. When you ask coworkers for help, be sure to return the favor.
Think of it this way: You wouldn’t ask a friend to help you move if you weren’t willing to do the same for them, would you? While workplace assistance may not include the degree of effort it takes to help hoist a couch into a moving van, the principle of this-for-that remains the same.
Words truly do matter. If a coworker plopped a file on your desk with a brusque, “Take a look at this,” would you move reviewing it to the top of your to-do list? Probably not.
The need to remember basic etiquette doesn’t stop at the office door, so phrase requests for help politely. A simple “could you please” makes people want to help, while demands cause feelings of resentment.
Sure, your cubicle mate deserves praise for finding new ways to cut corporate expenses. But if you know she’s also training for a marathon, celebrate that part of her life too.
Everyone performs better when they’re treated like whole human beings, not compartmentalized robots designed to do one job and one job only. Recognizing what your coworkers value when they’re not on the clock helps cement workplace bonds and raise overall morale.
Mix it up
Relatively few people enjoy doing the same thing day after day. Most thrive on new challenges or at least a bit of variety to spice up their daily routine.
Yes, Susan in admin might have the perfect phone presence that puts irate customers at ease, but expecting her to handle every unpleasant caller will eventually dim her spirits, especially if she has expressed interest in performing other tasks.
Take turns manning the phone and allow her to concentrate on follow-up emails a day or two each week to give her ears and spirit a break.
Your coworkers do recognize it when you stretch the truth. Certainly, some proprietary information must remain confidential, but strive to communicate forthrightly and honestly about pending changes.
Surprising coworkers with sudden procedural changes with little to no warning builds resentment. Your teammates aren’t mushrooms, so don’t keep them in the dark.
Show a little love
Above all, people remember how you made them feel with each interaction. For a happier, healthier workplace, celebrate the positives in everyone you work with.
No, this doesn’t mean showering everyone with hugs and warm fuzzies constantly. But it does require stepping out of your own skin and using empathy to understand what it feels like to wear someone else’s.
Do you hope your cubicle mates will rave over your new ‘do? If so, show a little love to that coworker who transformed overnight from Rapunzel to an adorable pixie.
Remember that anyone can be a motivator — including you!
Who do you look up to or admire at work? Odds are high that it’s not the office grump! Most people look up to acquaintances who are driven, friendly and confident. Why not strive to be more like the people you admire most?
Many people take on what is called a “fixed mindset,” deciding that their current level of engagement in the world is the apex of how far they can go. This ideology often grows out of introversion, lack of self-confidence or even just growing older and feeling evermore “beaten down” by the world. Whatever the reason, though, it’s the wrong mindset to have if you want to better yourself and others!
Strive every day to be better, and perhaps more pleasant, than you were yesterday. There will still be off days, of course, but keeping a “growth mindset” at the top of your priorities will inevitably take you far in your interactions with others!
Cordial behavior makes for better coworkers
Everyone’s performance improves in a supportive environment, and toxic, negative workplaces take a huge toll on overall life happiness. Do all you can to make coming to work something members of your team want to do by embracing positive practices that mean more than a mere paycheck. Smiles are contagious and kindness is free, so make sprinkling a bit of joy part of your daily work routine.