Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones…
I’d like to take a moment to discuss kindness among co-workers.
The best way for a business to thrive is to have a welcoming environment where everyone can learn and grow.
You’re supposed to be on the same team. Uplifting each other!
This does not always happen.
It can be unintentional, but when it feels like your own coworkers are picking on you, who can you rely on?
Sure, there is healthy competition and things said in jest, but what is inspiring or comedic for you can be discouraging and upsetting to others. We all operate differently. To get the most out of your team, we ought to be more mindful of these differences.
Not everyone’s skin is thick enough to be the butt of a joke. Not everyone can sense when something is meant as playful banter. Words DO hurt.
So, what can you do about it?
I’m not saying to turn down your personality and to treat everyone else like a fragile, porcelain being. I’m saying to take a step back every now and then to check in with yourself and others.
Internally you may think you have respect for someone, but do you really show it externally?
Are you communicating with your team’s individual needs/wants in mind?
Gauge your mindfulness. Quietly pull someone aside and ask them to let you know if they’d prefer you cut it out with the office jokes. Ask if there’s anything you can do to make them feel supported in the workplace. Sometimes a simple check-in is all that’s needed to make someone feel like their co-workers care.
Many people lack self-awareness in how their actions and words can come across. This can create a tense work environment that is destructive to a person’s productivity, and frankly, their mental health.
Nobody is going to take risks or share ideas when they fear that they’re going to be targeted with jokes at their expense.
They will eventually look elsewhere for a job.
Try to be more intuitive regarding the feelings of your co-workers. Have more honest communication. Let them know their thoughts are valued. Avoid putting them into a box they didn’t ask to be in. One you wouldn’t like to be in yourself.
Without consciously working on our behaviors and relationships, bigger issues can form beneath the surface. It is of the utmost importance to build a positive, welcoming culture in the workplace. This requires ongoing care to ensure everyone can be productive and feel accepted. After all, that’s the type of environment that helps us deliver our best work, achieve our goals, and drive profits!