This week is Be Nice Week at my kids’ school. It’s part of an anti-bullying program designed to “promote the old-fashioned value of being nice”. Today the students and teachers will wear “Be Nice” t-shirts offered by the The Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. I bought a t-shirt too and will be wearing it today at work. Yep, even during my client meetings.
It should prompt some interesting discussion.
Which is exactly the point.
If we don’t shine the light on this important value, then it will soon move from “old-fashioned” to “obsolete”. That’s not acceptable. We must have civility in our communities, our schools and, yes, our workplaces in order to thrive. It’s what makes us human.
Speaking of humanity, research shows that human behavior is contagious. So I’m declaring this Be Nice Day for the office. If enough people join in, we’ll achieve critical mass.
Who’s with me?
Here are 15 ideas to get you started:
- Hold the door open for somebody struggling with an armload of stuff. You’ll have to look up from your smartphone to actually see this need.
- Share something you know with somebody else: show a colleague a shortcut for Excel/Email/your company accounting system, etc.
- Smile at a stranger.
- Tell somebody you appreciate their hard work.
- Keep the snarky comebacks to yourself.
- Pick up a piece of trash in the hallway.
- Be overheard saying something nice about somebody else.
- Pay for the soda of the person in line behind you at the company cafeteria.
- Say “thank you.” Then find somebody else and say it again.
- Hold somebody accountable. Yes, this is a form of kindness.
- End a meeting early.
- Pick up the office mail for your team and distribute it.
- Make a fresh pot of coffee.
- Reload the paper in the copier.
- Introduce yourself to somebody new.
What will you do today to Be Nice?