The value of a happy good morning

Good morningYesterday, David left a comment with this wonderful story:

I would like to share a practice i started when my company moved the office to a new building a couple of years ago.

When i first arrived in the building i met a serious security gard that looked me like asking: “Who are you? and Where are you going????… I said good morning and entered the elevator…. Next day i planned and started playing an experiment to see how a smile would change the reaction of the man.

When I entered the building I looked at the man and wished him a good morning with a sincere big smile, in fact I meant that… and that made him change his serious face to a grin.. and wished me back a good morning…

I have been doing “the big smile experiment??? ever since and has become and anchor….. every time i get to my office i enter the building wishing Good Morning! with a sincere big smile.. and that makes me start the day with smile in my face.. and in my heart..

And the relation with the security guard is great.. we chat for a moment when we run into each other….. making my day, and i hope his, more enjoyable.

As the result was so good.. i have added this practice to my every day life.. and try to give away sincere smiles to whom ever I found…

Good Morning!! :-)))

That rocks, David! I previously blogged about saying a friendly good morning, and I still believe it’s one very simple, but sadly overlooked way to make yourself and others happier at work.

How about you? Don’t you hate it, when you come in in the morning, and no one even acknlowledges your presence? How do you greet others in the morning?

13 thoughts on “The value of a happy good morning”

  1. My very first mornings in the company I work for, I started by saying a loud ‘Good Morning’ when I entered the office. I came from a career as sailor and was used to a rather loose style where people joked, shouted and said swear words all the time.
    Nobody answered those good mornings, even the people right in front of me, and that was a very very strange experience:

    Good Morning! – no response.

    In the small offices in that same company we start the morning by shaking hands, wishing good morning and chatting a sentence or two about whatever. That was also strange in the beginning but an extremely good way of setting the ambience of that day.

    In the big open spaces of our larger offices you can try doing the same thing, but to my opinion it becomes too much of a good thing shaking hands with the 100 people on your floor. A happy good morning is, however, a minimum!

  2. Hmmmm… What do you do, when you get no answer..?

    I’m a big fan of shaking hands in the morning. But 100 handshakes may be too many :o)

  3. its very irritating in office in the morning to not be greeted with smiles… my last boss would just walk in past our team (i sit on the periphery and he cant miss me) with his head hung low – he would just get into office. and even when he wanted something from anyone of us for the first time in a day, he would just speak out his need rather than start with a smile and greet us.

    it was very frustrating – like a feeling of being non-existent other than to execute some work!!

    coming to myself – being from the conservative india – i dont smile at strangers but make it a point to greet my colleagues in the morning and to those who want to do so mutually :).

  4. I agree Srini, it is irritating.

    A friend of mine has been teaching her boss to do this right. To say good morning first, and to ask nicely when she wants something. And it’s actually working – she is becoming a nicer person, and seeing that she has an easier time relating to her people.

    It’s not that difficult.

  5. Thanks Alex for this post.. What an honor.. i recently started reading your blog.. and i’ll try to go back in time (previous posts i mean ;-)) and review the pearls i’ve missed .

    For me, the thing is that i give away the “Good Morning!”.. it’s a kind present from me to the other person.. expecting nothing in return… like some ideas posted previously that same big smile i give away also is a present for me.. its like a kind of boost for my neurology…

    it’s like “i am a lighthouse”… i try to enlighten others people morning.. and that purpose also enlights me…

    and one more thing.. when i say Good Morning to a person.. i try to be “speciffic” i look in the eyes…. (and like saying “this is for you”..) i shower the phrase….

    it’s true that in a big office with 100 people is more difficult.. but you can act like a virus… spreading… you “infect” or “enlighten” the people closer to you… so they can “transmit” their light to the other people near them… until the whole place is “Good Morning lighted”..

    and this is really very simple… one by one… step by step…
    Thanks again!

  6. My pleasure, David. That is a wonderful attitude to have – to give away your “good morning”s without expectation of returns.

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  8. I moved from a company where everyone said “Good Morning” and “Good Night” to an office where no one spoke, unless to pass on a work request. When I first started working here, I’d greet everyone whose desk I passed with a cheerful “Good Morning” only to be given very dirty looks by some people (obviously I was disrupting their train of thought) and suspicious looks by others. I’d rarely get even a mumbled “Good Morning” in return. So, after a few months, with no one returning my greeting and feeling like my greetings were very unwelcome, I stopped. I had to laugh, though, a few months later when one Manager came by my desk to ask what was wrong. Why had I stopped saying “Good Morning”? He said he missed my morning greeting, even though he usually didn’t return it. After that he began the ritual of saying “Good Morning” and “Good Night” and I joined right in again. It’s just a small thing to do but even small displays of manners will oil the machinery of social and work contacts.

  9. Isn’t “forcing a sincere smile” kind of self-contradictory? I mean, if it’s forced, how can it be sincere? Is it just a form of lying to yourself? Do you *really* care how the security guard is doing? or are you just storing up goodwill against some future need?

  10. When in need for an energy boost, particularly on those typical grey cloudy rainy danish mornings, I prefer to clap my hands, shout out motivating sentences, put my hands in the air and smile all over the place… (i prefer to do that when somebody else enters the office), when i’m comming in myself i’m trying not to be noticed (just kidding)… EVERYDAY IS HALLOWEEN!

  11. Zachary:

    Forcing yourself to be happy is something quite different from forcing yourself to appear happy.
    There is quite a lot one can do to control one’s moods, which includes inner sincerity.

    I came to work rather depressed and stressed out today, and refused to stay so. This made it easier to be cheered up by colleagues and by the things I did myself to get in a better mood. The problems that made me worry are still there, but now I have a positive attitude towards them – which on top makes it simpler to solve them.

    So forcing a sincere smile would be very sincere indeed.

    Smiling to the security guard: Well, that depends on how much you care about the next person! I think I care about every living person I meet – and if you want a cost/benefit analysis of caring, then I am sure everyone who tried would tell you that it pays off.

    I am not sure you have to see ‘happy’ as the ever-drooling/grinning happy but dumb fool-kind of mood. It’s more a question of choosing to stay positive and constructive towards everything that happens to you.

    Because you are not absolutely free to decide what happens to you, but you are entirely free to choose how to react to it.

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