You dropped all six of those bad habits in my “Stop It” post just like that, didn’t you? And now you’re feeling a void in your life. You’re wondering: “What will I do with myself, now?” In part two of this series, I have just the solutions for you. Read on!
- Commit to converse, commune, and chitchat. One of the unexpected, yet positive, side-effects of my former role as head of the Bod Squad (our internal health & wellness team) is that I had (and still do have) reasons to talk with nearly everyone in the company. I realized after a short time at the helm that I knew so many faces and names and at least one personal detail about each of their lives. I also realized that I was living out an important rule coined by Dale Carnegie: “Take a genuine interest in others.” By getting around the office and encouraging others to talk about themselves, you can develop rich relationships with not just the people you work with closely but those you rarely interact with. In turn, you expand your awareness and create bonds from mutual experiences. I recommend it highly. But, a warning: you can’t achieve this camaraderie via email—it just doesn’t work.
- Create a personal lunch manifesto. The Energy Project sums it up well: “Human beings are not computers. We’re not meant to run at high speeds, continuously, for long periods of time. Science tells us we’re at our best when we move rhythmically between spending and renewing energy—a reality that companies must embrace to fuel sustainable engagement and high performance.” Not only is there an abundance of outside evidence that taking a lunch is beneficial to performance and wellbeing, there is also personal experience. Mine, others’, and yours—you know it’s true. Even though you might feel like you just can’t break away from your desk, you should at least make the effort. For sure, you’ll find the extra boost you need to get through the day—and you might also find a tasty, new lunch spot! Read the official Lunch Manifesto if you want to get inspired!
- Re-think meetings. At Baudville, we love ourselves some meetings. So much that we have jokingly called ourselves “Meetingville.” But, even though we all have the best intentions, many of us are beginning to acknowledge that we could probably handle some of this interfacing a different way. How? First, by being economical about who really needs to attend and who just needs a brief synopsis of the goings on. After you’ve done that, you might discover that a short pow-wow with one or two others is all that is really required—nothing formal, no settling in, just a quick & dirty convo. You can also implement a project management tool that will get everyone meeting in a virtual space where they can assign tasks, weigh in, see progress, and provide updates—all on their own time. What a concept!
- Give some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Aside from being on time (which, technically, you’re supposed to do, so it’s really not a grand gesture), think about some ways that you can be more respectful to the people you work with. What about keeping a clean desk, or staying reasonably within the dress code, or taking your personal calls to a private space? Or, staying home when you’re sick? Maybe you need to reel in your behavioral tics? (I talk to myself. It’s probably really annoying. I’m sorry, neighbors.) Recognize that you’re sharing space with others and try to identify ways you can make it more pleasant. I’ll bet it’ll be easier than you think.
- Be frank, but in a good way. We know that talking about others behind their backs is a professional and personal no-no, but what about the opposite? Working on a team can sometimes be challenging and also competitive. You might not always enjoy the people you work with. But, I’ll bet you can think of at least one positive attribute for each of your peers. Make an effort to identify the advantages each one brings to your team and refer to those traits openly and freely. My experience is that the way you talk about people influences how others in the room respond: positive with positive; negative with negative. You can create a lot of goodwill by sticking to the former. And, if you need ideas on what to say, download our free Compliment Print & Posts.
- Spread good mojo. If you tried our “no-complaint” prompt from my “Stop It” post, you may have noticed that you ended up having a really quiet day. (Confession: I did.) Catching yourself before you start complaining is a good start, but what about filling that space with some constructive words instead? If you’re about to complain about a circumstance out of your control, why not appreciate something else out of your control, like the sun shining, for example? If you’re about to complain about a problem that needs fixing, try wondering aloud about a possible solution—or (gasp!) asking for help. You get the idea. Now, go out there and get a case of the positives!
Are you ready to do this? Try replacing some of your negative habits with these positive habits and make 2015 the best it can be!
Allison is currently living out the elaborate fantasy she described to her now-former staff and colleagues in early 2001. With a hearty dose of courage and absolutely no plan of action, she abruptly left her middle-management job to become a writer—and today she is doing just that in her role as Baudville's Senior Content Writer. She's here to tell you everything she's learned in her 20-years+ professional life, plus a lot more. She's wordy like that!