Free Compliments Poster - Break Room Edition
Before I became a work-at-home mama I rocked a day job in health care. I was a nurse's aide in quite a few different settings. I worked all three shifts throughout the 7 years that I worked in the field. I worked in a handful of nursing homes, personal care homes, a rehabilitation center, an assisted living complex & then finally, in home health care. I really did love helping people but it was a SUPER stressful profession, both mentally & physically, especially when we were understaffed. What would make or break my day would be who was on with me that shift. At one point, during my first year of work, I worked with SUCH an amazing TEAM. Like, we got shit done, we didn't skimp, we all loved our residents to pieces & we worked TOGETHER to finish our tasks & raise the quality of our residents' lives. We went that extra mile to make each other smile too. It was truly a beautiful thing.
Last weekend I made a call out on both Twitter & Facebook asking my followers how they were shown Kindness in the work place. I was blessed to read some amazing stories, I mean really, really amazing, if you visit KOM's Facebook you can scroll down & read some of them. Thank you so much to the lovelies that shared them! Please, leave them again in the comments if you wish! All the stories that were shared helped this post bloom!
Now, I know that sometimes you are overworked, stressed & feel that you don't have time or maybe you feel that your co-workers don't deserve a damn thing because as Meg via Twitter put it, [they should] act like the adults they are, instead of like the mean spirited high schoolers they once were. Believe me, I've been there. It can be really difficult but if you reach deep inside yourself, you can show them some kindness too. I like to remember this proverb when faced with someone that is unkind...
Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it.
Another great reminder is Kate Swoboda's Love Letter to the World that I made into a printable last summer, download it here!
"And now they want to crown me for the Ghost of the Year", originally uploaded by Rhett Redelings.
Kindness really is contagious, maybe you can get the bug to spread in your place of work by taking one of the steps below! It won't hurt, I promise!
Start Small. Most of the things I am about to mention will take you no more than 5 minutes or less to do. Say thank you, make coffee, tidy the break room, do the dishes, have a sense of humor, SMILE MORE, complain less, don't gossip, give praise freely. Be Kind, Be Kind, BE KIND. You probably spend an upwards of 2,000 or so hours with your co-workers a year. You should really try to make it a positive experience for yourself & those around you.
Bring Food. Bagels, chocolate, fruit, donuts, chocolate, cookies, cupcakes, a veggie tray... chocolate! It doesn't matter what it is. Bring it. Share it. Bake something & bring it in (Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes!?), a covered dish, anything will surely be a huge hit! You don't have to go all out either, stop at your local grocery store pick up some fresh or frozen bagels & a tub of cream cheese, a box of donuts, pick up some coffee on your way to work or better yet, offer to run out & pick up a coffee or food order.
Leave Little Gifts or Inspiration. The above Free Compliments Poster would be a great start! ;) Any of my freebies, really! You don't even have to be crafty to make these Paper Roses. It's almost Valentine's Day, find some cute free printable Valentines, get all old school & write them out. If you're shy (like me!) you don't even have to make yourself known, do it on the sly, giggle to yourself when everyone is talking & wondering who the do-gooder is.
Start a Gratitude Board. As I was scouring Flickr for photos to feature in this post I ran across the one above. Her company has a "Thank You Board" - whomever has the most notes each month wins Employee of the Month & is rewarded. Of course, whomever has been the employee of the month the most throughout the year becomes the employee of the year at the end of the year! Love this idea, so much.
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
Show Your Appreciation. This harmonizes with the suggestion above because I feel that is extremely important & want to emphasize on it more. Maybe one of your co-workers showed you how to do something or to get more personal, shared with you a great book, song, poet or movie that you deeply enjoyed. Let them how much you appreciate them by saying Thank You, maybe you can return the favor. Show them how grateful you are by acknowledging them, you can pass along the goodness they shared with you to someone else. When you do, don't let the person that turned you on to or helped you with something out of the story. Not only is it one of the most important parts of the story but by doing so, the gift of appreciation will continue to be given to them & that my friends, is truly a beautiful thing.
No one who achieves success does so without acknowledging the help of others. The wise & confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.
Share Yourself & Encourage Others to Do the Same. Open up, let yourself be seen. This will make you vulnerable but it will also be the only way you will connect on a deeper level. Hang photos of your loved ones, display mementos of your interests & passions (ummm, don't go overboard though!) If you have an office, keep your door open as much as possible. When folks arrive make them feel welcomed. (Did I mention chocolate?!) Share the important things in your life. Ask about the important things in your co-workers' lives. Sometimes all anyone needs is someone to talk to.
So, if you rock a day job... commit yourself to being Kind. It really does go a long way.
How have you been shown Kindness in the workplace? Share your experiences in the comments below! I can't wait to read them!