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6 Nice Gestures That Make the Office Friendlier

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Do you think of yourself as nice? Most people do. But think harder, are you nice at work?


When’s the last time you gave someone at work a genuine compliment, or offered to bring back lunch for a co-worker who was stuck at his or her desk?

Contemplation on this point can often point out that we are not as nice as we think to those with whom we work and see everyday. We can get caught up in the petty day-to-day grievances, become sidelined by our own stressors, or let sarcasm fly unattended.

The solution? Make a conscious effort to be nice. Thankfully, it’s not difficult, and here are five quick ways to get you started down the rosy road to niceness.

1. Ask someone about their life outside of work.

You don’t have to talk at length, but it’s just nice to ask someone about the concert they attended the night before, or about their daughter’s birthday party or graduation. Showing an interest is a simple way to show you care about someone on a personal level. Plus, you might find you have something in common that will lead to a friendship outside of work.

Related: How to Be the Nice Guy Who Never Finishes Last

2. Offer to bring back food.

If you see that one of your co-workers will be tied up through a break or meal time, and you are able, offer to bring something back. This little gesture can really save a person’s day, as well as put a smile on their face.

3. Invite someone to lunch.

If you’re heading out to lunch, ask someone to join you. It helps create bonds that transcend the office and builds allies at work. Take this time to get to know your co-workers personally. Don’t use this time to drone on about office politics or spread gossip…that’s simply not nice.

Related: It Really Does Pay to Be Nice -- Growing Research Links Friendship and Success

4. Offer a compliment.

Make it a point to offer up a compliment every day. Look for someone who’s done a top-notch job on a project and compliment them on their hard work. Or if someone’s outfit catches your eye, let them know. Most often, we go through life unappreciated, so your gesture can mean the world to someone. Tell them in person, or send a line or two in an email that conveys, “I noticed.”

5. Say thank you.

Speaking of the lack of appreciation, when is the last time you said a heartfelt “thank you” at work? Too often, co-workers can take each other for granted, and don’t appreciate the efforts others make. A simple “thanks” can brighten someone’s day in more ways than one.

6. Share something of interest.

If you find an online article of interest, send it to someone you think will appreciate it. For example, if you know someone who loves to read, send an article or book review about his or her favorite author. This small, yet significant, gesture is the easiest way to let others know you’re thinking of them.

This goal of being nice doesn’t just benefit the recipient. Once you get into the habit, you’ll find that you too will be filled with gladness and that the workplace will seem friendlier and more harmonious.

Related: The Serendipity of Collisions at Work -- Are They Really Just a Happy Accident?

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