No one is expected to be Little Miss Sunshine at the office every day, even if you consider yourself to be an easygoing and happy person most of the time. But even the smallest of actions can make a big impact — such as complimenting your co-workers regularly.
“Whether we realise it or not, we are constantly given small opportunities to build up or put down our co-workers in the ways we talk about them,” says the HBR report. It could be the way you introduce a colleague, whether it’s in person or over email. Or it could be your positive appraisal of their work. Taking the time to recognise someone doesn’t require much effort, but can mean a lot to the person on the receiving end.
The HBR article lists four easy ways we can “narrate our colleagues in ways that cultivate positive self-meaning”: by creating positive first impressions; by communicating the value that each team member brings to the table; by describing your colleagues positively if they are socially undermined; and using exits to create positive portraits of colleagues.
The act of being kind to a co-worker could even lead to a strong friendship that extends beyond the workplace — and, as we all know, having good friends at work leads to higher levels of health and happiness.
While most of the compliments from the HBR report are centred on work-based achievements, other kinds of compliments are more than welcome. As the saying goes, “Throw kindness around like confetti.”