That You Can Do Right Now
I’ve observed some really great behaviors recently that have helped co-create great workdays, and I thought I’d share them. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a handful of things I’ve seen lately, their impact, and how to apply them.
Here at Your Clear Next Step, our mission is to help create better workdays so that together we can co-create better communities, and these handful of actionable tip can help do just that!
Choose your words carefully
This one seems fairly obvious, right? We shouldn’t be careless with our words anyway, and you know how important I believe communication is to our workplace success. But going one step further here, this is about choosing words that work for the audience - whether it’s the one person listening or others who might be impacted by the culture you create.
- If you choose words that are more specific, that can help someone not have to ask for clarification later.
- If you choose words that are more succinct, that can help a person in a hurry get the gist without losing stride.
- If you choose words that include the other person’s name, that can help them know you care about them.
- If you can choose words that avoid any potentially hurtful or exclusive or offensive or judgey language, that can help make a safe work environment.
Okay, it doesn’t have to be coffee, but sometimes we have the ability to offer someone else a little boost. We can help with a task, we can offer words of encouragement or commiseration. We can be the one who makes the donut run or the afternoon coffee run. If you know someone is flagging a little, and a quick caffeine boost would help them, and you kind of wanted to run and grab coffee anyway, offer to pick them up one, too! If you, like so many Midwesterners on a 60° day in March, have a chance to get outdoors, and you know that the person next to you will just be working straight through, maybe offer to hold your meeting with them on foot, outside - for a quick boost from of fresh air and vitamin D.
Take your turn
Some days, you’re the one with the heavy workload and the need for the coffee or the fresh air - I get it! But especially if you’ve noticed that others at work are occasionally offering to pick up coffee, or bring in breakfast, or bake goodies from home, maybe it’s time for you to contribute, too! No baking skills? Offer to pick up the ingredients so the other person doesn’t have to. No time to stop mid-day, bring something tomorrow morning on your way in. No time to help to make the coffee run yourself? Then maybe offer to fund the run so the others don’t have to do the driving and the buying.
Show your pearly whites
I’m sure you’ve heard by now that good moods are socially contagious. You know how yawns are “catching”? If one person yawns, others will also follow suit. Did you know that the same is true for smiling? If you take a moment to anchor your attitude to something positive, think a good thought, and put a smile on your face - before saying hello, before asking for help, before answering the phone or even before making that outbound call - it’s amazing how many people you can impact, simply with the smile on your face! Even if - or maybe especially if - you’re in a situation that already includes more than its fair share of stress, pressure, or tension, taking a beat to smile before (and while) talking to someone can help diffuse a ton of stress!
Have you ever been the recipient of a compliment? How did that feel? It brightened your day, didn’t it? Well, pass it on! If you have anything you can praise a colleague or team member for, then do it! If you’re entering a new establishment, and you like the aesthetic, you appreciate the way you were greeted, or if your lunch was lovely, share that! If a vendor delivered something well, thank them! If a customer is a joy to work with, tell them why! If you received praise for something that was a team effort, pass the compliment along to everyone who contributed.
Correct privately or not at all
Did you know that biting your tongue can help make someone else’s day better? It’s possible that you have information that renders someone else’s answer inaccurate or incomplete. But how awful is it to be corrected in front of others? If you have information that can help someone - maybe it can help them be more accurate or more successful, for example - that’s great! Before you speak, look around you. You can co-create a great workspace by sharing that wisdom, insight, or correction in a private way, rather than criticizing or correcting them in front of others.
It’s also possible that this is a case of your-way-is-not-the-only-way. So, if the correction you’re about to offer works for you, but it’s not the only way to do things, especially if it’s not really your place to tell them “how” to do what they do, and even more especially if they didn’t ask, you can create a better workday by simply staying silent.
How about you? What would you add? What have you tried? I’d love to hear your stories! Join us on social media or leave a comment below!