The powerhouse of positivity that is Oprah Winfrey is at it again.
It was recently announced that the iconic and multi-talented Winfrey (does anyone even use her last name anymore?) will be joining the venerable CBS news program, 60 Minutes, as a special contributor.
Oprah issued the following statement:
“At a time when people are so divided, my intention is to bring relevant insight and perspective, to look at what separates us, and help facilitate real conversations between people from different backgrounds.”
The great bridge builder constructs yet again, perhaps when we need it most.
Could your organization do with less divisiveness and more cohesiveness?
Here’s 6 ways that you too can cultivate camaraderie:
1) Create purposeful bonding experiences
To build a sense of camaraderie, many simply amp-up the amount of socializing.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with grabbing a cocktail with your cohorts.
However, relying solely on socializing to build bonds may not be as effective as you think. Research shows that people “don’t mix much at mixers” and they mostly bond with similar colleagues at company functions.
I suspect the exception is the infamous holiday office party where two drinks in people are “bonding” in the supply closet.
Anyway, the idea is to be intentional and design a breadth of experiences with a specific purpose in mind to aid in the bonding process.
Celebrate team successes and failures, create opportunities to work together to make a critical decision, to react to a crisis, to solve a tough problem, or to complete a specific mission. All lead to a sense of shared identity.
2) Spread positive gossip
Get caught talking about your co-workers, in an upbeat way.
When the wisps of goodwill organically make their way back to the protagonist, it has a powerful impact; we’re instinctively drawn to our supporters.
3) Play your position, be in position to play
This isn’t just the old platitude of work hard/play hard.
This is first about knowing what to work hard at. That means knowing what your role in the assembly line is and being prepared and feeling accountable to deliver it with excellence, then reliably doing so.
Save some energy/capacity to unwind with the very co-workers alongside whom you’ve been working so hard. While I said earlier that people tend not to “mix at mixers”, it’s different for a group that’s been working hard together.
4) Give them 10 percent more
We all know how it feels when you see a waiter, sales clerk, or flight attendant give that extra effort. You feel important and cared for and have an urge to reward their dedication in some form.
It’s no different with our co-workers.
Making a conscious effort to put 10 percent more into what you’re helping them with, or into your own work, will be noticed by a factor of ten.
The extra respect and appreciation granted will go a long way towards accelerating a sense of camaraderie.
5) Invite their gifts in
Nothing enhances a sense of belongingness and feeling valued more than being asked to share the things that make you so valuable in the first place.
When people appreciate the unique-you, it creates a bond.
So create an environment where others feel comfortable, appreciated, and warmly invited to share their unique talents.
They’ll return the favor.
6) Openly and subtly have their backs
Visibly backing one another up will move camaraderie forward.
Help your compatriots solve a circumstance, be on the lookout for ways to help and support them, make the effort to share information they could benefit from, accept their imperfections, and be their fiercest advocates.
Just as powerful, you can look for those quiet moments, when no one else is looking, where you can help create a positive impression of them or help move something forward that’s important to them, like a project or even their career.
If your subtle efforts ever do get back to the recipient, it has a multiplicative bonding impact.
We have enough division in the world right now. What say we enable more cohesion?
This article by Scott Mautz also appeared on Inc.com. To read more Inc. articles by Scott Mautz, click here.
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