It's Improve Your Office Day

So October 4th is “Improve Your Office Day” and although most articles focus on the physical environment, being someone who is enmeshed in communication, process and human interaction, I propose that the best way to Improve Your Office may be a human one.

We all know of the all-too-common environment of gossip and backbiting that runs between cubicles and walls, and often toxifies a company culture, undermining the efforts and energy of otherwise stellar employees and teams. If you are fortunate enough to be in a company that has avoided or risen above, then I am happy for you. For the rest… why not do something “above the box” on Oct 4 to help your organization rise to a higher vibration. And if you miss the date… there’s always Thanksgiving!

First a quote… always a quote in my world. “Regard man(woman) as a mine, rich in gems of inestimable value.” A.A. Gems… precious, beautiful and born to shine. Some rough or unpolished, some hidden and undiscovered, some faint in colour because they haven’t been encouraged…but gems all the same. As Mines have hidden veins, some human gems or attributes are so far down, suppressed or unconscious that others don’t see them and may not trust they are there.

So here’s my idea. At Christmas we have “Secret Santa” where everyone in the organization gets a name and must gift something of modest value to that person. Why not GIFT each other in the same anonymous way with a recognition of the highest parts of each other? That each person lists 3 GEMS – 3 admirable attributes – of the person whose name they receive and that the list is posted for all to see. No fanfare, no noise. Just a quiet gift and chance to acknowledge each other and be grateful for what’s good. The only rule is that “It must be true, it must be authentic, it must be kind”.

Whether you do this in your personal group, in your team or organization-wide, let’s see what the return is when you invest 3 words to mine your co-workers … let’s see how much of the inestimable value returns to them… and to your organization. And then, let’s make it a new habit.

Mardi Edelstein, Family & Organizational Mediator and Conflict Coach Spectra Mediation