Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Say Hello And Goodbye

Hello and Goodbye are both important at work!Whether you are a manager, supervisor or member of a work team, make it a habit to connect with others when you arrive and leave–and in between times too.  There may be times when you must rush in or rush out (or when you want to slip in the door and slip out without being seen) but limit those times and don’t let them be the norm. Be part of your work group and let your presence and absence have significance.

Be brief:  A greeting at the beginning of work and a farewell before leaving only requires a few friendly words. During the work period, when you come into a work areas, say hello or give a friendly smile or nod of the head, according to the work being done. The idea is to be courteous–and it is discourteous or at least uncivil to not acknowledge those with whom you work.

You should not engage each person in lengthy conversation, interrupt their activities or require more response than they wish to offer. I mention that because I know many people who prefer to hunker down with work, so a very brief greeting is all that is welcome.  The brightly smiling coworker who wants to spread good cheer every morning is dreaded and resented, not appreciated!

Be friendly: An unsmiling face makes a greeting or farewell seem robotic and insincere. You don’t have to grin or act insincerely friendly, just smile slightly and make eye contact as you say hello or goodbye.

Be personal: It’s possible to say hello and goodbye to an entire office or group-and some work settings make that more logical than stopping at each work space. However, even then, try to make eye contact with everyone and don’t exclude anyone. Don’t play favorites and especially don’t exclude anyone with whom you may have conflicts. Present yourself to that person and others as open and friendly in spite of disagreements.

Be positive: Work is tough enough without greetings and farewells that sound as though you are in a hell-hole of misery and tomorrow will be more of the same!  Everything that seems so troubling or stressful will soon fade into distant memory, so keep that perspective for yourself and share it through your positive facial expressions and words. Keep the approach that with everyone’s best efforts, your group can achieve anything. During the day, if you are busy and preoccupied, it takes no more energy to smile and say hello than it does to sigh heavily and sigh “hullo” as though the weight of the world is on you!

Be appreciative: The value of appreciation is two-fold: You have to develop the habit of noticing things for which you should be appreciative, and you reinforce the good actions of others when you thank them or share your appreciation with them.

Thank people for helping you during the day. If you are a manager, thank employees for things they may not have realized you noticed. Thank your supervisor or manager for his or her assistance. If you see someone who helped your work group, thank him or her as you are leaving. No one resents a thank you!

Be purposeful: Not long ago I was present when a manager was leaving work and said to the employees in his area, “Thank you all for your work today! Have a good evening and I’ll see you tomorrow!” The employees all looked up briefly, smiled and said goodnight.

The employee who was helping me said, “He is so nice. He says goodbye every night. One night he left in a hurry and called back so he could say goodnight to us!”  The employee was still smiling as she continued her work, which multiplied the positive effects of that brief farewell.

A manager in a police dispatch area told me she often walked through the area and stopped briefly at several consoles to see what was going on, but didn’t say anything for fear of being disruptive. Finally, one of the communications officers told her it was unnerving to have her walk by and look but not say anything at all. She resolved it by telling everyone that she was checking work as part of her job but in the future she would smile and at least nod when she did it! She said she felt a bit obvious at first, but got over that and could see the dispatchers appreciated her efforts.

Say hello and goodbye every work day. You will never regret it and you will find it to be a great way to add to the spirit of camaraderie and your own influence and relationships.

November 7th, 2009 Posted by | Personal and Professional Development, Service to Customers, Clients and Coworkers, Supervision and Management | 9 comments