Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Being considerate and thoughtful, part of Connecting with Peers in the Workplace (2014).
- When you think of what it means to be a good performer in the arts, you often hear people talk about the "X" factor, that hard to define, almost intangible characteristic that makes someone likable. Well the "X" factor exists at the office, too. There's a series of little things one might do at work that endear them to others. Each one, in and of itself, might not seem like a huge deal. But over time, collectively, they help you form strong bonds with others. Let's think about a few common examples.
The first is to remember the beauty of gratitude. It's often said that the two most important words in business are "thank" and "you". When someone helps you, is kind to you, or connects you to an opportunity, remember to offer a genuine thank you. You can say it or you can creatively show it. For example, I once knew a boss who was fond of Starburst candies. So whenever a member of his team did something really nice or useful, well, they'd often find a Starburst sitting on their chair at work, waiting for them.
Another practical thing to remember is that people universally love food. That's something everyone understands. Of course, you could brings doughnuts to a meeting, or you might actually cook something and bring it to work. Whether you wish to take it to a meeting or leave it for everyone in the break room. Here's one of my favorites. Giving people a heads-up about something that's about to happen. It could be that you let folks know that you just learned the boss is coming back from that business trip two days early, or maybe you find out that people from corporate will be stopping by next week to inspect the facilities.
People don't like surprises at work, so a heads-up once in a while will be much appreciated. Another great way to be a good teammate is to be ready to stand in for someone. Every day's crazy schedules are always changing and little emergencies always seem to be popping up. That means one of your colleagues will need to miss a meeting, or skip a call with one of your key vendors. or maybe they won't be able to sit in on a particular interview as they were scheduled to. If you spend the few minutes needed to step up and stand in for them in order to keep the groups work moving forward, They'll be doing the exact same thing for you later when you need it.
Finally, think about when and how it's appropriate to make small sacrifices. Let's say you're next in line to have your computer upgraded, but the boss wants to make that new computer part of his offer to a candidate who is now interviewing. or maybe your colleague is scheduled to work until six p.m. when the office is closes, and you're supposed to be off at five p.m. but a minor emergency pops up with your colleague's children. There are many situations like this. I know you can't always take one for the team. But when you can, you probably should.
These types of intangible, or "X" factor behaviors are often the very best at solidifying great relationships. Remember the power of gratitude and the power of food. Give your colleagues a heads-up when needed. Stand in when needed and look for the occasional small sacrifice. When you do, it's kind of amazing the level of connection you create.