“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”— UNKNOWN
I once had a co-worker tell me straight to my face that she never befriends anybody from work. That she keeps her relationships strictly professional and doesn’t want it any other way. And I was like, Yeah, I get that, maybe it’s the right way to go in a workspace where you don’t want to hear giggling in offices and girls sharing information about their last night out. But as the social being that I am, I couldn’t help but wonder… Why not? I didn’t expect to become the best of friends. I just wanted her to be kind to me when at work. But, apparently, that was too much also.
I’m sure that just like me, you also have acquaintances that give you “mixed feelings” and you don’t want to be friends with. But have you ever stopped and thought that maybe you are that person? When was the last time you smiled at your co-workers? When did you last have a meaningful conversation with any of the people in your office rather than work-related stuff? When did you last help someone that had too much work on their plate?
Being happy at work is just as important as your income. And most likely not only for you, but everyone you meet daily. By not making an extra effort to be kind to your colleagues, you could be contributing to a hostile atmosphere. Here are some tips with actions you could do that lead a sure way to kindness and prosperity.
This is definitely the easiest way to be nice to people. A genuine smile goes a long way, as it expresses friendliness. Plus, it’s contagious. Smiling releases endorphins that help fight off stress and relax your body. Throw in a casual “How are you?” and there you have it. Do it more often and see the results for yourself!
- Give someone a compliment
Think about how you feel when you receive compliments. It warms you up a little bit, doesn’t it? Letting someone know you appreciate them, either for their work, outfits, or even choice of meals, makes the other person feel seen and appreciated.
- Have meaningful conversations
Try and really get to know your colleagues. Ask questions. Listen. See who you can connect with on a deeper level. Maybe you’ll find similarities between you or joint passions. Show your authentic self, and expect the same thing from others.
- Open the door for somebody
We get so caught up in daily tasks, projects, and to-do lists at work that we sometimes forget about the basic little things. Slow down. Help someone. Hold the door for a senior customer or for someone rushing in for a meeting. It only takes a few seconds to be kind!
- Be inclusive
Invite new co-workers to a coffee, even if it’s a virtual one. Try to make everyone feel welcomed and part of the team, even if you work remotely.
- Bring in coffee
If you can afford it, surprise your colleagues with some fresh coffee in the morning. It will be a nice change from the usual options you have in the office. Enjoy it together! They will most definitely appreciate your thoughtfulness. Some might even reciprocate another morning.
- Offer help on a project
Take some time to help out an overwhelmed or struggling colleague. Maybe you have experience with a similar project. Being of use when needed is always a good idea to strengthen relationships in the office.
- Don’t let yourself be driven by anger
We all go through frustrating situations. But rather than writing an angry email or message to someone, better write it to yourself first. Then, calm down and re-read it after a few minutes. If it still seems important by then, you’ve probably already found a better way to express your annoyance.
- Give positive feedback
Whether you’re working on a group project or simply reading an excellent article a co-worker wrote, acknowledge the good things. Receiving nice work-related feedback is great happiness, and not only for the one receiving it. Their reaction is enough to make you feel happy too.
- Share a funny link
Did you find a funny GIF that sums up your slow workday? You wouldn’t think twice about sending it to a friend. Next time try sending it to a colleague instead. Or better yet, post it on the internal chat channel if you have one. People are more likely to laugh in a group than alone. And what better ways to bond, if not over a familiar situation?
Kindness is great for business. Interpersonally, work-related, and motivationally. Happy employees are healthier and more creative and are more willing to work harder for their team, leading to great success. So be kind, change the dynamic of your company one step at a time.