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13 May 2014

Plant Seeds of Happiness in Your Office in 7 Ways

Yesterday's article on Planting Seeds of Happiness in 7 easy ways drew one comment asking me to elaborate how to do that in the office. As we know, the office is one place where we spend more time than anywhere in this world.  Smart bosses often equate happiness at work as the ingredient to high productivity, the other 2 ingredients being management system and management style.  The 7 ways that you too can plant the seeds of happiness in the office everyday:
  1. Know Your Value in the Office for the Day - yes, some days people feel that they are just messengers but the moment you realize your value in the office, you'll start to feel you are doing something good. Such good feelings give you instant happiness
  2. Validate and Appreciate your colleagues for what they do for you.  Before going back, ask your boss this question, "Can I ask you a question before you leave?"  The boss will of course say, "Sure".  "Is there one or 2 things that I can do tomorrow so that we can build on what we did today?" Such question immediately validates and appreciates the work done for the day, and both you and your boss will feel happy instantly.
  3. Show Concern for your co-worker's personal issues at work.  Don't just show concern during lunch breaks, but during the day when all the noise and hustle are making people stressed, show concern for their personal life.  Ask if you could do something to help the. Let them know that the easiest and most effective way is you will lend them your listening ears anytime.
  4. Be Kind.  Do not use hard words (see "Hard Words Make Work Hard") for they are not kind and create instant unhappiness.  
  5. Show Empathy when your co-workers encounter difficulties at work.  You don't need to show sympathy, which is feeling sorry for them.  You show empathy, which is feeling sorry with them. 
  6. Show Your Joy when they achieve success at work or in their lives.  Such appreciative joy is the fastest way to spread happiness. Most of us are only happy when we achieve our own success and we seldom show joy for others' successes.  In fact most people show their jealousy and envy when they see others doing better than them.  You can see this in the standard congratulatory messages that people just rush and join in.  
  7. Give People Space.  Yes, the is the most overlooked way to plant seeds of happiness in the workplace, and yet this is the most powerful.  Just like a seed needs space to grow, you too need to give people 'space' to handle work issues.  'Space' includes 7 elements:
  • Time
  • Patience
  • Understanding
  • Benefit of doubt
  • Physical space
  • Personal quiet time
  • Learning and thinking time
Remember, if you plant the seeds of happiness today, flowers of happiness will bloom tomorrow.  If you never plant seeds of happiness today, how can you expect happiness tomorrow?  The office is just an extension of your life, so plant seeds of happiness in the office and you'll see the quantum leap in your happiness and productivity at work.  Happy planting!  Related articles on workplace effectiveness: (course listing at here)
  1. Five Lessons for Today's workplace Warriors
  2. So important yet they never tell you
  3. How to be more successful at work in 6 ways
  4. Selling the impossible made possible
  5. Ask these 7 questions before you ask for a pay raise
  6. Start Planting the Seeds of Happiness in Your Life Today
  7. Using the Circle of Life to Solve Problems

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