• Westwood International

5 Ways to Show Up For Your Coworkers and Offer Support

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Let’s zoom out real quick. If you were to divide your 24-hour day into thirds, you would get three eight-hour blocks. Ideally, each day you sleep for 8 hours, work for 8 hours, and socialize and have personal time for 8 hours. That means that we spend a third of our days during the week, or sometimes more, working. Are you surprised?

Given how much time we spend with coworkers, it’s essential for everyone that this 8+ hour block is filled with support, connection, joy, and anything else that you might need.

With that in mind, here are 5 great tips to help you show up for your coworkers and create that supportive environment together.

1. Offer Help

The way you want to be supported is different from the person next to you. For example, if you see that someone is having an off-day, try asking, “Is there anything that I can do for you?” or “how can I best support you right now?” If they are struggling to verbalize what they need, try offering a few ideas, such as getting them a coffee, going for a walk, or holding space for them to share what’s on their mind.

2. Validate

Listen to what they are saying. Remind the person you’re talking to that what they are feeling is absolutely fair and recognize their position. This gesture is a tiny and simple thing to do and goes a long way. Think about how good it feels when you struggle with something and someone can sympathize with you.

3. Random Acts of Kindness

Who doesn’t love a kind surprise? If you are in the office together, leave a post-it note on their desk when they get up saying, “You got this!” or “You’re doing a great job.” Get creative! If you’re on a virtual team, send them a spontaneous message over Slack/Teams/etc.with three things you appreciate about them or even a song that might turn their day around.

4. Ask questions

Try to stay away from leading questions and ask open-ended ones like, “how was your weekend?” or “how are you doing?” Work to create an environment where people can truthfully share how they feel and don’t feel like they always have to say, “I’m good!” Questions are a great way to build connections and get to know one another on a deeper level.

5. Anticipate Needs

In our recent blog posts, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of fostering a sense of connection to build great relationships at work. The general theme throughout is asking your team members what they need, listening, and taking action. The same applies here. Look back at your notes or dive deep into your mind and reflect on what you’ve been hearing. What are the common emotions or issues bubbling up in your team? By listening and anticipating your team’s needs, you can be proactive instead of reactive. Looking for creative ways to do so? Click here to learn 10 ways to foster connection and enhance the work culture.

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