Dr. White, you often say that busyness is the #1 reason people don’t communicate appreciation at work. Do you have any tips for getting past this barrier? I work in a medical setting and it seems we are always frantic.
You are right, Suzanne, busyness is the #1 enemy of communicating appreciation in the workplace. And from work I have done with hospitals and med schools, they are one of the most frenetic workplaces I know. Let me give you a few suggestions of how you can use brief snippets of time to “connect” with your colleagues. All of them can be done in 2 – 5 minutes.
*When you are on the way to a meeting or a different part of the facility, try to leave a couple of minutes early and stop by one of your colleagues’ offices or station, stick your head in and ask, “How’s it going?” Spend 1-2 minutes listening about their day.
*When you are talking with a colleague about business-related or treatment-related issues, at the end of the conversation, take a minute to ask how things are going for them generally. Try to give them some eye contact, listen for a couple of minutes, and then give a positive or caring response (“Sorry to hear about the challenges …”, “Hope the rest of the day goes better for you.”)
*If you know one of your colleagues has office hours or takes breaks at a certain time, give them a call (or go to the break area) and “check in” with them. Just a brief call – even if its voicemail – to let them know you were thinking about them, can be encouraging.