It’s February, Valentine’s Day and romance month. At this time of the year I have traditionally focused on romance in the office with hints on how to build personal relationships on the job without jeopardizing yours or someone else’s career.
Stay with me because I am taking a different approach this month. Instead of office romance, I want to talk about office relationships–not going out with our coworkers after hours, but getting along with them during the day.
Statistics show that we spend more time with our coworkers than with our spouses, significant others, friends and family. As a rule we don’t have a choice about who these people are. Some we like; others we may not. The bottom line is that if we want to be profitable and productive, we all have to get along in the office. Here is where good manners and business etiquette come into play.
These are my suggestions for making life more pleasant and everyone more productive at the office:
- Ask permission before you enter a coworker’s cubicle. Try saying, “Is this a good time to talk?” or “Do you have a few minutes?”
- Keep noise at a minimum in your cubicle by putting your phone on silent ringer or vibrate. Lower the volume on your land line and drop your voice as well.
- If you need to block out other people’s noise, do the same for them. Use a headset for your workplace music and scrap the old desktop radio.
- Schedule a private office or room for conference calls and when using speaker phones.
- If you have a break between projects and your coworker is swamped, ask if you can help. What goes around, comes around.
- When you go for coffee, offer to bring back a cup for your colleague.
- When you hear gossip in the office, keep it to yourself.
- If you have issues with a coworker, go to that person first. Keep your problem from becoming the hottest new topic around the water cooler.
- Keep kindness, courtesy and respect for others uppermost in your mind.
- Always remember that manners matter in the office and that adding polish builds profits.
Here’s to better relations with your coworkers and colleagues!
Hire Lydia to work with your staff to improve customer service and employee relations through the use of those priceless and often over-looked soft skills called manners. Lydia is the “unstuffy” business etiquette expert who helps individuals and organizations add the polish that builds profits. We’re talking about your bottom line here.
Since 1996, countless people have benefited from her wisdom through keynotes, seminars and conference breakout sessions. Her Southern charm and sense of humor have made her a sought-after speaker and consultant.
Based in Savannah, Georgia, Lydia is available for national, regional and local speaking and training engagements. She has suitcase; will travel.