As I was driving in my car recently, the radio played an old Janet Jackson song titled, “What Have You Done for Me Lately.” You may be familiar with it. The song revolves around a woman’s frustration with her partner in a relationship. The lyrics indicate a change from early in the relationship to the present:
He used to do nice stuff…go to dinner almost every night…
Good thing I cook or else we’d starve to death.
It got me thinking about this; how many of us are like this with relationships at work? When it comes to our co-workers, we often think – “What have you done for me?” We don’t usually think, “What can I do for you?” Would it make a difference if each of us showed up to work every day and said, “How can I serve; who can I help?”
I shared this idea at a workshop I did a couple of weeks ago with a group of bankers. Afterward, one of the participants gave me a card from a campaign her employer had called, Be the Good. The card says:
Pay it forward.
Someone has reached out to you with a random act of kindness.
Don’t pay it back, pay it forward. Do something nice for someone you don’t know,
leave this card behind, and ask them to do the same.
Here’s this week’s challenge: seek out opportunities to be nice and watch what happens. Be sure to come back here and report the results.