5 things you should tell your colleagues today

by Jeff Hilimire on March 21, 2012

Every once in a while I see a title for an article or blog post and before I read it, I “steal” the title and see what I would write on the topic. Like this.

This time I saw the title, “5 Things You Should Tell Your Colleagues Today”, on Inc., and immediately wanted to see what I would come up with. Turns out I was pretty close to what the original author had suggested.

Here are the 5 things I think you should tell your colleagues today:

1. Make sure your colleague is setting themselves up for success with their manager

This is a big one. I see it all the time – a manager and an employee are not in alignment on what success looks like for that employee. If you get the sense that one of your colleagues doesn’t quite get this, suggest they spend time with their boss discussing how they can be successful. Sounds simple but sometimes a push from a friend to have this conversation can make all the difference.

2. Talk to your (or the) boss about your concerns

Good managers are always eager to hear about concerns you have about the company. Just last week, two of my colleagues approached me to tell me some things they’ve been noticing that I might want to be made aware of. And I was so appreciative of their time to let me know what they were seeing.

My guess is almost everyone has had these thoughts before. Should I tell my boss about this? Would she/he even care? If your colleague is talking to you about issues that you think the boss can address, try to convince him/her to express those feelings to their boss. It will show leadership on their part and hopefully it will spur positive changes at your company.

3. Stop killing the office vibe

I’ve belabored this enough in the past (link above to more on the topic), but needless to say, we all know some folks that are “Debbie Downers” or in some way or another kill the office vibe. Help them figure out that they’re doing that and most likely they’ll stop.

Apparently there was a skit on Saturday Night Live called, Debbie Downer. I'm sure it was super hilarious ;)

4. Ask for your colleague’s help

Your colleagues are there to support you but often times people think they’re going to be a nuisance if they ask for help. Most people are very happy to help their friends and colleagues. I’ve seen people spend hours trying to figure out how to do something when the person next to them could show them in two minutes, but they are too worried they’ll bother them by asking. People inherently like to help others. Let them.

5. Tell your colleague they rock

No one says it enough and surely no one hears it enough. When someone does something that impresses you or you know they worked their butt off to get something done, let them know. It can make a HUGE impact on their day.

  • http://www.sylvainperrier.com/ Sylvain Perrier

    Jeff, your post is insightful and nothing irks me more when
    someone is killing the buzz in the office. Cause at the end of the day, I have
    to ask myself why are we in this business? It’s about the buzz and seeing the
    look on someone face when we present him or her a cool solution that they didn’t
    think was possible. That’s the ticket. The moment we learn how to have
    difficult conversations, points one through five should be easily resolved.
    Rock on!

  • dennisdube

    How have you never seen the Debbie Downer clips?

  • http://twitter.com/laurieinseattle Laurie

    These are all great tips. However there are the odd managers
    out there that shouldn’t be managing people at all. Having an open and honest
    discussion with managers like that is similar to negotiating with a child in
    the midst of a public temper tantrum. It’s a no win situation. I’d be
    interested to know your perspective on how to successfully manage a manager
    that should be an individual contributor.

  • Pingback: My (and your) favorite posts from 2012()

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