Step 2: Care about your co-worker.

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When was the last time you received any acknowledgement from a friend or a co-worker? What did that feel like? I bet that it felt real nice? Do you know that you got the power to provide that feeling to others? If you are sitting there right now in front of the computer and thinking that you have never said anything positive about your co-workers performance, then you are not much of a great employee yourself. Some people have this ability naturally and become friends with everyone around the work sphere; while others don’t quite have the EQ or they just do not know the impact of these actions.

I wrote 12 easy steps to become a great employee. I decided to write more about each step, bringing me to step 2: Care about your co-worker.

Cleaning of a dirty cup!
I read a story about a man that always started his day by cleaning his coffee cup. He was shy, and did not talk to anybody if it was not directly job related. One morning an early bird came to work, washed his cup, poured fresh coffee in it, and placed it on his desk with a post-it note saying: “Enjoy your coffee, you’re doing a great job” That post-it note is stilled pinned to his cubicle wall.

The little things!
You do not need to give away prizes or create a big stir to show that you care. A technician at my job once said that he was a fan of the Chicago Cubs, several months later a co-worker of his actually went to Chicago on holiday, returning with a Chicago Cubs cap. He talked about it once, and she picked up on it. He does not see this cap as just a Chicago Cubs cap, but also as a strong symbol of friendship. At my department the first one to get to the coffee mug in the morning is the one that likes to walk around and serve coffee to the rest of them.

The post-it exercise!
From time to time when I arrange meetings I start by giving everybody 3-5 blank post-its and a pen. What you do is to write “I appreciate you because…” and pass it on to the one to the left of you, the next note goes to the one two seats away and so on. Resulting in the fact that everybody gets 3-5 positive notes from the others and everybody needs to focus on the positive about the other people in the room. If you focus on the positive sides of people you tend to like them.

It’s not just a job!
When I was a young salesman, I worked as a salesman during the day and as a bartender during the night. I could never find time to attend social gatherings at work, because they were just co-workers and not my friends. So when I had time of I spent it with my friends outside of the companies I worked for. One day a wise man came up to me and said “remember there are people here around you eight hours a day” – It made me think. I know these people just as well as my best friends. Social events and team building became very important to me after this chat.

Today’s homework!
Pay attention to your co-workers ornaments. What do they use to decorate their personal work space? Do they have pictures of someone? Do they have anything else? Do you know who is on the pictures? Do you know the story of why your closest co-worker has this particular thing on her desk? When people decide to display something, they love to talk about it. And if you ask, you’ll show that you care. So find your co-workers ornaments and ask about them. That is your homework. I have a small dragoon figure at my desk.

I expect to pass through this life but once.
If, therefore there can be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do
for any fellow being let me do it now…
Let me not defer it, or neglect it,
For I shall not pass this way again. -Stephen Grellet

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