Deadlines to meet and schedules to adhere to— there can be little time to know fellow co-workers other than a quick “hello”. You might know a few basic facts, like Ralph goes home and like to watch the NFL game and have his buddies over occasionally. Or that Susan is trying to get her kid into the band next year to play tuba rather than piccolo. Or Katie has a reoccurring allergy which is causing all sorts of phone calls to get the carpet washed, drapes vacuumed, and her prized possession, her Sheep Dog, scheduled for his weekly hair dressing appointment. Most of this you overhear as you hide behind your cube wall, keeping busy with the projects you have to do. But when was the last time you made time to find out the reason your co-worker is so frazzled after coming in to work late? Or near tears because the deadline is approaching and despite all the hard work, it is not going all as planned after all. Taking time to observe personal issues, within reason, and reacting to them adds warmth and humanity to what can become a cold office of strangers.
Add to refilling the coffee in your cup with a couple of minutes of conversation with a nearby co-worker. Ask how he or she is doing—it might just make a difference at the next conference meeting when you’re battling over decisions for the vendor for the next project. Speaking of wrestling, maybe it’s time to call it a tie with some of the little office nuances that irk people like leaving the coffee filter in the coffee pot overnight, or coming in late with the editorial, or not leaving time to check everything before someone calls the shots that the project is in overtime already.
Office environments which welcome a pace that allows for a little bit of time for personal interactions, helps alleviate tensions which can easily become part of the workplace. By extending a few more compliments, offering words of empathy, and being more thoughtful and considerate, the office work environment transforms, springing back with a refreshed team spirit. Laugh if you want. Some of that is good too!
Kindness at work.
—Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness
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