So how sensitive are you towards someone’s feelings? Are you the kind who buy flowers for someone in your team when you know she is single on Valentine’s Day? Or are you the one who rally among colleagues to pitch in for a birthday present for your boss? Or maybe you are the one who will remember your boss’s secretary what she likes to eat?
Are all these necessary? A definitely yes! If you will do all that for your best friends, you definitely will need to do that in the office. These are the folks who sees you 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. They work with you, supported you and listened to you throughout the year. Chinese have one saying 礼多人不怪 which translated to “Being courteous no one will blame you”. And I can assure you that a smile you bring on someone else’s face in the office goes a long way.
1. Know your coworkers better
You need to know your coworkers even your management are humans too. Meaning they have social life outside work, their favourite hangout, hobbies, feelings and even mood swing. Knowing who they are will make you more intuitive towards them. Don’t discount someone just because they are not in your department, that will make you insincere.
2. Take timeout
Take 10mins of your day to get to know someone better. Maybe a short chat before work or grab the person for lunch. What I love to do is to stroll over to whoever is still in the office after work and check up on them why they are still at work and if they need help. Even by offering to help them grab a sandwich from the canteen for their overtime dinner will be greatly appreciated.
3. Be Aware of your Surroundings
Are you aware of your team morale level? Have you heard that someone is not feeling well but still have tons of work to finish? Or do you know if someone in your department is given a project way out of his league? Did you bump into someone who looks perplexed during lunchtime?
If you have done right on above tips, you will notice someone is not being themselves that day.
4. Don’t be shy
Approach the person to ask what happen. If it’s too personal, the person will declined to talk about it, don’t pester. I would buy the person a cup of coffee or a cupcake and leave it on his desk with a note “Hope it cheer you up!”. It’s discreet but yet letting the person know that you care and you are there if he needs a listening ear.
5. Don’t overdo it
Don’t probe someone until they scream at you. Personal issues at work needs to draw a fine line. If you approach and ask, they refused to talk about it, it’s okay. But don’t go around asking others behind his back what’s going on. It’s may make you appeared as gossipy.
Be careful when you give any gifts to any of your superiors. Don’t buy him anything expensive even its his birthday or Bosses Day. Best if you shared the gift with someone else in the same team or department. Buying a birthday cake is fine but buying a watch is probably too personal and you will be labelled as an arse-kisser.
6. Don’t be an Ass
Whenever someone tells you their problem, keep your mouth shut. Don’t go around telling others “Wendy just broke up with her boyfriend so let’s tiptop around her today.” or “Gabriel is on urgent leave today. I heard his father is in the hospital.”
Don’t compete for affection. I remember that one year my boss is having his birthday, everyone including myself are chipping in to buy a present for him. Because we know he has a sweet tooth, we chipped to buy him a box of Godiva chocolate. One of our colleagues in the team declined to share with us. So everyone thought maybe she is tight with money this month and we shrugged it off. In the end, she presented our boss an expensive engraved pen. Everyone wants to strangle her that day.
So now you know how to be more intuitive to someone else’s feelings. Please remember before you buy any gifts, check against your company’s HR policy. You don’t want to get into trouble for being nice!
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