Can Work become a Vibe? You can Rewrite the Unwritten Rules of Culture in your Workplace
How showing appreciation will make you popular and change the standards at work.
Have you ever been having a bad day when one of your customers, coworkers, or your boss gives you a really well-placed compliment? Well, that happened to me twice in one day.
We work so hard day after day, feeling unappreciated. We make sacrifices to save others from too much work, and it goes unnoticed. Sometimes, it feels like you’re the only person wearing yourself down.
My Monday was one of those days. My body dragged because of the few hours of sleep I got. The anxiety of the coming work week kept me awake much of the night. This week all my patients had COVID, and most of them barely clung to life. It is more draining being assigned to this floor than any other.
I spent all day on the COVID floor, seeing patients and reading hospital records. As the day progressed, a headache crept in, then the fatigue. I could barely think straight after I’d seen all the patients and made adjustments to their care.
During my late lunch break, I walked into the office. A lovely Christmas gift of chocolates greeted me at my desk. My boss gifted us all chocolate, but mine felt special. The card enclosed felt very personalized and thanked me for my hard work.
I smiled and took a few deep breaths.
Then later, a different coworker mentioned that he recommended me for an additional position. He recommended me because he saw me as a future leader of our group. He considers me to have a strong work ethic, good medical knowledge, and excellent social skills.
I said how I don’t feel that way, but I thanked him all the same. He then repeated some of the compliments.
Again I smiled. My shoulders lowered, and the tension I didn’t know I had, drifted away.
I didn’t expect either of these tokens of appreciation. But they both turned around what was a pretty crummy day otherwise.
Though you can’t go around fishing for compliments, you can improve the culture of appreciation. If you give compliments to others, they are more likely to return some. Now don’t go planting seeds of flattery only to harvest fruits of appreciation. Your appreciation must be real and genuine. This is a long-term plan to change the culture in your environment.
Later in the week, I told a coworker how our occasional talks change the course of my day. Our seemingly meaningless afternoon chats break up the tedious work and give me the energy to finish the day strong. I hope I made my coworker’s day a little less stressful.
If you were co-workers and family are happier, then you will be more comfortable, too. If you compliment them one day, they are more likely to compliment you the next. Those small tokens of appreciation will change the course of a day or a week. Keep spreading love and joy during this holiday season.
Here are your doctor’s orders.
Take a little time to show appreciation. Find reasons to be thankful this year and communicate the compliments to the people who made a difference to you.
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Until next time, my people.