Monday Tip: How’s everybody doing?

The Chief Happiness Officer's monday tipsHow happy are your coworkers today? How can you tell? You mission this Monday is to find out!

This is what you must do:

  1. Make a list of all your coworkers who are at work today. Put your boss on the list too, just for kicks (if she’s in today).
  2. Observe them quietly for a while as you go about your work. Just talk to them as you normally would and be your regular self.
  3. Ask yourself how happy each person looks today.
  4. Write down how happy each person looks. Not on a scale from 1-10 (that’s much too complicated), just notice if the person seems Unhappy, Neutral or Happy.
  5. Also write down what you’ve observed that led you to this conclusion.

Here’s what the list could look like:

John – Happy – Has a big smile on his face and is very energetic today
Mia – Neutral – Seems very quiet today, but not really unhappy
Joe – Unhappy – Looks really stressed out
Tina – Happy – Was really chatty and happy during lunch

You don’t have to look for what makes people happy or unhappy and you don’t have to do anything about it. This exercise is about figuring out whether you can tell who is happy it unhappy at work and how you can tell.

This is a great exercise because it trains your ability to focus on your surroundings. Many of us go through our work days exclusively focused on the work we do, often not noticing people right next to us who may be either very happy (and thus great company) or very unhappy (and thus in need of our help).

Noticing each other in this way is a great way to build better relationships at work and this invariably leads to more happiness at work.

A final question: What if you did this exercise with your family?

The Chief Happiness Officer’s Monday tips are simple, easy, fun things you can do to make yourself and others happy at work and get the work-week off to a great start. Something everyone can do in five minutes, tops. When you try it, write a comment here to tell me how it went.

Previous Monday tips.

12 thoughts on “Monday Tip: How’s everybody doing?”

  1. I’d like to do this today then do another on Friday to see what impact the day of week has. So far, sadly, everyone here seems like a zombie.


  2. Alas, I’m the only person here this morning. One of my co workers works remotely and the other is working offsite.

    I’m feeling perky today, though. That’s a nice change for a monday :D

  3. Just found your blog from the interview with Tom Peters. When the Dutch company VNU sold Nielsen to private equity gunslingers in America, the Nielsen workplace changed overnight from a Dutch happy and open setting, to an Ugly American environment, adversarial and simmering with distrust.The change in how co-workers view each other is shocking, and extremely costly to the long term future of Nielsen. Offer your services to the Nielsen CEO. He earns a hundred million. He can afford your rates.

  4. Has anyone ever seen Joe Under the Volcano? It has a great scene at the beginning with Tom Hanks and his co-workers in this basement with the florescent lights, and everything sucking the life out of them. Where he is not even allowed to bring in his own light. A must see for anyone who does not work in a happy environment. It was enough to get Joe to quit his job and throw himself into the volcano. Now that is a bit drastic, maybe a better idea is to throw the company’s atmosphere into the volcano.

    We used to be a place of fun. Where I stocked the fridge with treats and pop, even food; where we had a pool table and ping pong, where I threw parties regularly for birthdays, and more but we became like this (I left for 1 1/2 years and came back to it). Now I am trying to throw at least birthday parties and such but without the company’s CEO commitment (he hates Canada and thinks we are all Communists for wanting Stat holidays and such).

    Time to move on.

  5. Alex,
    What a great idea! Just getting used to the basics of whether people around you are happy, unhappy or neutral could be so useful in your everyday interactions. So much of the time we don’t even notice, and then either tell a joke to an unhappy person, wondering why they don’t laugh, or miss an opportunity to be energized by an upbeat and happy person.

    What a great way to start every work week!

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