The elevator doors open. A colleague, who I do not know, enters. Should I say Hi? Neeh.., I do not really know her. The door closes, the elevator continues. I nod carefully and mumble Heh.. with my eyes glued to my cell phone. She looks at me, smiles and says: Good morning! What a nice jacket you are wearing. I love that color! I get embarrassed and give a shy smile. Next time we meet, for sure I will say Hi, how are you?
Hey, I love your hat!
The ingress of this blog post might sound strange to you. Does anyone really behave like that? The truth is, I am Norwegian and very proud to be, but we have a tendency to behave moderat, at least to strangers and people we know briefly. If I talk to a stranger on the bus, he will think I am crazy or making a move!
My motivation with this blog post is to inspire people to be more open, search eye contact and smile. People will (hopefully) smile back at you. I not saying that, we timid Norwegian, should start running around and talk to everybody. But some small actions will spread more joy and happiness at our workplace.
The last month, I have lived on Maui. Everyday, I meet people saying: Hi, how are you? The behavior and frases are automated, a part of a culture. Still, I love it! On Hawaii, the extraversion is completed with the aloha lifestyle and mind set. This makes a bit more real. As they say: This is not the mainland.
Yesterday, I was on my way to the local grocery store Mana in Paia. I ran across Hana highway, when I heard a driver yelling from his car – Hey, I love your hat! I gave a shaka (a thank you sign) and smiled even more, continuing up Baldwin avenue. If this had happened in Norway, I would have thought. Who was that maniac? Is he stalking me?
My new hat is not that extravagant. I am wearing it HERE! (the linked blog post will soon be translated to English)
What is Aloha?
In short, aloha means hello and goodbye. It is also an expression for a lifestyle, a mindset and last, but least, actions. It is hard to describe aloha in words, but I feel that it involves really being aware of and see the people around you, give attention, spread love, take care of family, old and new friends and colleagues, share with those who have little, be patient and gentle. Phew.. that was a lot. But remember, the small actions are the most important!
How about some aloha at your workplace?
I am not going be all aloha religious, but the last days I have been thinking about how a little aloha at the workplace, will make it a nicer place to be!
Five simple actions that will give a good aloha atmosphere at your workplace!
1) Care about your colleague sitting next to you!
Are there someone at work who looks a bit sad or is unusually quiet? Maybe you should ask if everything is fine. A gentle question, eye contact or a hand on the shoulder can open a wanted conversation. Or if it is too much? Just bring your colleague a cup of coffee!
2) Share success, instead of promoting yourself!
Have you made some special achievements this week? Something you are very proud of? And maybe you were the driving force behind it! Call attention to the whole team and thank everybody. If you are the leader, step back and let the youngest or the newest co-worker present your achievement at the staff meeting. Be a role model, who appreciates others effort!
3) Give a compliment!
Does your boss have a new haircut? Is your colleague wearing a beautiful dress or a tie? Give a compliment. Say thank you to the taxi driver, who got you there in time or the cleaner who shined up your office. It is so easy and it is completely free! A nice compliment warms more than one heart. But remember, it must feel real and natural!
4) Smile and seek eye contact!
Life is not so bad? What is there actually to complain about? Be grateful for what you have in life. Yes, we all have small and large concerns. Write them down on a paper, rank them, maybe some concerns can be removed already. Make a plan with action points for each of your concerns. What must be done? Who can help you? What is step no. 1-2-3? Great, now you have a plan. It feels better already, right? Enjoy the day and smile (and remember to follow up on your plan :))!
5) Be patient and have perseverance
Are the financial prognosis looking bad? Are you behind annual budgets? I truly understand that this freaks you out! Maybe this year is particular important. Bad results might mean you have to dismiss staff.
These feelings are very uncomfortable for most leaders. You have to step it up! Develop a common goal and action plan. A plan, which all stakeholders own and feel responsible for. A superior plan for the last month of 2015 and detailed weekly plans. Together you can do this, step by step. Be patient, do the right things and have perseverance!
Why are you waiting?
Challenge yourself! Do a new aloha action every day. I am confident that the people around you and you will feel great! You have nothing to loose. One small action, a great effect!
- “Akahai,” kindness, expressed with tenderness
- “Lokahi,” unity, expressed with harmony
- “Oluolu,” agreeable, expressed with pleasantness
- “Haahaa,” humility, expressed with modesty
- “Ahonui,” patience, be expressed with perseverance
Do you want to inspire others? Please, share this blog post in your social media network!
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Have an aloha Friday,