How to be nice at work: 6 tips to help you avoid being an office 'meanie'

- Often times in the workplace, we take things too personally, lack empathy, and more often than not, we don’t notice it. But there's hope. 

Melissa Davies' book “How not to be an @ss at work” is reforming how we carry ourselves at work and in life. A recognized leadership and team developer, Davies has written a successful book-- with a catchy title-- that will transform the inner "meanie" within you.  

Here are a few tips to help you be a nicer you at the office:

1. Develop empathy and stop taking things personally

Ever walk down the hallway and make eye contact with someone who gives you “the look"? And you think to yourself, “What is wrong with them?” Well, Davies wants you to know, it’s not about you! Instead of getting upset, her advice is to recognize that we’re all dealing with personal issues in our lives. So be more empathic.

2. Build trust and be trustworthy

Davies says you need to aim to be authentic and open. Your willingness to share something -- perhaps personal -- shows your effort to establish a connection that helps build trust. And from a work perspective, doing what you say you’ll do builds trust. Don’t make empty promises. Remember “word is bond.” 

3. Be an effective communicator

Part of that falls on your body language. Davies recommends being an active listener. Rather than formulating what you’re going to say next when the other person is finished speaking, take the time to actually listen to them when they're talking.

4. Be a team player

Ever team up with someone who is difficult to work with? (Shakes head yes) We have all been there. Instead of getting irate or flustered, express that you feel uncomfortable and want to talk more about it. As Davies says her grandma would say, “It’s not what you said, it’s the nasty way you said it.” 

Also, be on board with your team. If things do not pan out the way another member thought it would, find a way to resolve it. Don’t assume it would have gone better your way. Because what if it hadn’t? 

5. Bring your best self to work

Show up with authenticity! Davies says you should demonstrate that you want to be there, and are ready to be a part of the team. Bring your skills to the table and contribute with questions or suggestions. You don’t have to invite the team to Thanksgiving dinner. Just show that you care. 

6. Connect

Find opportunities to connect in a sincere, authentic way. The keyword here is to “listen.” While we may not always understand what someone is going through, everyone understands that we all go through problems. Express empathy, but remembering that life isn’t always so great.  

 
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