It’s easy to take those closest to you for granted. You spend the most time with them. You probably say thank you for plenty of things. You probably offer plenty of smiles. Maybe even a few hugs and fist bumps.
But for the amount of time we spend with family, friends and coworkers, it can still be easy to make sure we’re getting in enough attention. People want to feel valued by those that are most important in their lives. It’s not easy to be able to provide it for them. And even if you try you probably won’t make everybody feel heard and appreciated.
Employees and coworkers can be a tricky one. It’s not necessarily personal on the surface, but all relationships are personal. And when you’re working with somebody you’re spending a very large amount of time with them.
Here are a few tips for showing that you care.
We all know how important this one is. But something that many of us fight is the yearning to jump into conversations with advice. With advice, you have to be very sure that the other person is asking for it.
Most of the time we just want to be heard. We want someone to listen to what’s on our mind and to understand what we’re saying. We don’t want to argue. We don’t want advice or fixes. We want to be heard.
Now, there are times when it’s not just about being heard. It’s about discussing what may need to change and if that’s the case…
2. Follow Through
Follow through is important. I see it more and more with my daughter. She is three years old and if I tell her I will do something she remembers it for a long time.
But it’s not just toddlers that hold you to promises. Your spouse does. Your other family members do. And your employees and coworkers do as well.
Maybe as we grow up we learn to expect a certain number of broken promises. But that doesn’t mean that we like them or the person that breaks them.
It’s difficult to follow through on every request a person has. So make sure to be diligent with your promises. Listen to what someone has to say. Consider it. Discuss it. Follow through on the most important thing as time allows.
3. Ask About Them (Not Others In Their Lives)
In the work setting it can be easy to ask about the “other people” in our coworkers’ lives. I was thinking about this recently. I used to experience this in the corporate office setting. And I still see it in the remote setting that I’ve been in since 2012.
I’m guilty of it. I even do it with my wife. But maybe that’s natural. We ask each other about our daughter and about our parents and siblings.
But it’s important to ask about the person you’re talking to. Ask how they are feeling. Ask if they have any questions or concerns or feedback for you.
4. Brag About Them
It’s easy to focus on the negative when it comes to life. With our personal relationships and with our coworkers. I noticed it several years ago when I was doing a lot of freelance blog writing. I could write five posts, for example. Three of them would be good to go in the eyes of the client. One might need a slight tweak. The fifth, maybe a couple tweaks.
Just normal things.
But repeat that process over months and years and you get a lot of built up negativity. You can start to wonder if you’re any good.
So make sure to express positive feedback to your coworkers and also brag them up when you’re talking with others. Talk about how great it is to work with them. Talk about how good they are doing on a project.
This type of conversation can be contagious. It can make others recognize how good others are in the organization.
And you can train yourself to look for the good in people instead of taking them for granted.
5. Provide Honest Feedback (When Asked)
Feedback is important. You employees likely want to improve. That’s part of living a fulfilling life. Being good at and improving in our work. And it’s important to know what is expected of you. As well as where you’re strong and where you need some work.
And we all know that we aren’t perfect. As a boss, you can heap praise on an employee and still work with them to help them improve and grow in their career.
The tricky thing as a boss is finding the right blend of giving advice when it’s needed and when it’s wanted.
Try to find situations where your employee is open to feedback. Then provide honest feedback that can help them improve. That is what they are seeking. Not someone that only criticizes and not someone that only praises.
Employees are people. Just like in your other relationships the things discussed here are important. But it’s easy to take these relationships for granted. We spend a lot of time with our coworkers and it’s easy to feel that they should just know how we feel about them. But that’s usually not enough. So if you feel you’re struggling with this, hopefully these tips can help.