Do you wow your coworkers? Are you the type of coworker that others are happy to work with? Do you bring the energy up at work, or do you bring it down? Can people rely on you? Do they say nice things about you, or do they complain about you?
Think about all the coworkers you’ve had over the years. Which ones stand out? What did they do that made others say, “I need to be more like Christine?” Why is it that we have some coworkers over the years who fade away quickly, yet others stand out as someone great to work with?
[ctt template=”3″ link=”fylPd” via=”yes” ]Do you wow your coworkers? What do they say about you when you aren’t around?[/ctt]
Yes, your ability to do your job is important. You have to be competent. After we have decided that you can be relied upon to do your job properly, it is then that you can begin to wow your coworkers.
Everyone needs to feel acknowledged and respected. If you make them feel that way, you will quickly begin to wow coworkers. Here are three simple things that will, surprisingly, make you stand out as a great coworker:
1. Know their name and take an interest in them. That may sound condescendingly basic, but I am amazed at how people come up with excuses for not knowing other people’s names. When I teach customer service, this is always an interesting conversation. Sure, they know the people they work with, but anyone who isn’t “useful” doesn’t have their name remembered. How do you think that makes them feel? And if they work with the company long term and work their way up the corporate ladder, they know that you have dismissed them in the past. “People will never forget how you made them feel” is my very favorite quote by Maya Angelou. Make people feel like you are interested in them. Please give them the basic courtesy of knowing their name.
When I was working in the head office of the national real estate firm I worked with many years ago, I was amazed at how the company’s president knew everyone’s names. When you stepped into the elevator with him, he acknowledged you by name and asked specifics about your job. There were more people in the four-floor building I worked in than went to my entire high school (and I didn’t know all of their names). I remember promising myself that I would get good at names. So, I did. He made me realize how important this basic skill was.
I knew the name of the ladies who worked in the cafeteria. I knew the name of the man who polished the floors. I knew every single person that worked in the mailroom. Not only did I know their name, but I also took an interest in them too. I asked about their kids, their vacation, their life. I took the time because they are people too. The intent wasn’t to “wow” them but to make them feel special regardless of their title, their pay grade, or their overall use to me. I wanted to be like the president and know names and details because I knew how he made me feel.
Do you know the name of your regular barista at Starbucks? Do you know the name of the parking attendant? Do you know the names of your coworkers’ dogs? Do you treat them like people, or do you only focus on them if they can offer you something in exchange?
[ctt template=”3″ link=”42Uce” via=”yes” ]Do you treat coworkers like people, or do you only focus on them if they can offer you something in exchange?[/ctt]
2. Be responsive. When a coworker sends you an email or instant message, how responsive are you? What is a reasonable wait for them to expect? I’m not saying you need to respond within seconds or even minutes, but you should respond the same day, don’t you think?
I routinely get acknowledgment emails when I sent emails to clients. It is often the standard “Your message is important to me, and I will attempt to reply to you as soon as possible.” Fine, I know you received it, and I appreciate knowing that, but I also do expect some other type of acknowledgment within 24 hours. Maybe I am unreasonable thinking that a coworker would respond to me within 24 hours, but I expect you to respond. I need something from you to do my job, which is why I sent you the email in the first place. I realize that my urgency is not your urgency, but shouldn’t you at least communicate with me about it? When 24 hours have gone by, you are now potentially impacting my ability to do my job. How does that make me feel?
Let me know when I can expect to hear from you. Let me know you are working on my request and what type of response time I should expect. When my email has been received but then ignored, I feel that you have dismissed me as a coworker. Unless my email says “I need a response sometime in the next week” or something to that effect, I do expect a reply sooner rather than later. I don’t want to nag you any more than you want me to nag you. Acknowledge, respond, and keep me in the loop so that I know I can trust you will do what I need you to do. That makes me feel validated by you, which is essential to making your coworkers feeling wowed.
3. Be positive. I know that we all have challenges, we all have issues, and life is not always sunshine and roses all the time. Your coworkers don’t want to hear about how horrible your life is. They don’t care that you’ve had the worst day on the planet, they don’t care that the person in front of you was horrible, they don’t care that your boss is breathing down your neck, or your bank is demanding that the loan be repaid. They want you to be in a good mood. They want you to have a positive attitude. The same way you want that from them.
I’m not saying for you to put on a happy face and pretend to be super positive and optimistic all the time. I am saying that an outwardly positive and optimistic approach is more of a wow than a negative and pessimistic outlook.
When someone asks how you are, think about the positive things you can share. Don’t start complaining about the vaccine process, the lineups, the government decisions, the traffic, or even the fact the weather person on television is wrong more often than they are right! Find something positive to say. Don’t complain about any coworkers, any department, and anything about the company you work for. It isn’t about telling lies or pretending to be someone you are not; it is about being a positive force to work with and not a gloomy wet blanket.
I know that external customer service is part of our jobs, even if we are not external customer service focused. Internal customer service is equally important. All of your coworkers are your customers. It would help if you wanted to wow them so when they think of you, they think positive thoughts. When they see your email come through, you want them to respond because they know they expect the same from you. When you need help, you need an influential network to help you achieve your goals.
You do that by being a good person to work with. You know who I am, a little about me, and you make me feel valued. You do that by being responsive to my needs as well as being positive rather than negative. You do that because you want to and not through manipulation.
Wowing coworkers isn’t as common as you would think, considering how easy it is to do. Have a look at how you treat them. What would they say about you if I asked?
Take two minutes of your time today and make someone you work with know that you are interested in them, that you are responsive to them, and a positive professional in the workplace. Then do that tomorrow and the next day too. It will quickly become an excellent new habit.