This is what you must do:
- 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).
- 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.
- Ask yourself how happy each person looks today.
- 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.
- 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.