Self Expression Magazine

Why Being Super-Generous at Work Will Make You Happier

By Shrinkingthecamel

businessman-150241_640The other day I received an email from a complete stranger, asking for advice on a business plan: “Dear Mr. Wood,” he blurted forth. “I saw your name blah blah blah and I have this wonderful idea blah blah could you please take some time to review and give me feedback blah blah.” 

Like most of you, I am quite busy and under intense pressure at work. As a result, I have become fairly adept at a handy management trick known as filtering, which, in plain English, loosely translates to, “blowing off loser requests that do not further my own productivity.”

Seriously, if I entertained every intrusion from out of the blue, there wouldn’t be much time left to do what’s important. Would there?

Not so, according to Adam Grant. Grant is the youngest tenured, highest-rated professor at Wharton School of Businessand author of, “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.” His research says the secret to both happiness and productivity at work is in giving back to people.  Grant’s work in the field of organizational pyschology and workplace dynamics focuses on how companies can get the most out of their employees and how employees can get the most out of their jobs. The common denominator in this equation is, strangely enough, the ability to frame every task as an opportunity to help others. 

Those of us in management may look slightly askance at this theory of helpfulness and kindness as a means of becoming more successful. It sounds a bit counter-intuitive, perhaps even a little whacky in the ultra-competitive arena of zero-sum outcomes. Spiritually speaking, however, it makes all the sense in the world in terms of viewing our work as an opportunity to serve others.Our work is not about us, after all, but about God working through us. As Christians, this subtle but monumental shift changes everything.

Grant views opportunities for being helpful as a source of creativity, a means of generating additional energy and productivity.  In fact, he has compiled a large body of evidence that says the greatest untapped source of workforce motivation is not financial incentives or career advancement, but a sense of service to others. 

Isn’t it nice to know our faith-at-work concepts are backed up by hard research?

Think about it: that annoying co-worker’s request suddenly becomes an opportunity to improve his day. The customer service call is now a brainstorming session to solve a pesky problem. The boring meeting is now a window to lighten up a dreary afternoon.

“I never get much done when I frame the 300 e-mails as ‘answering e-mails,’ ” Grant says in a New York Times interview. “I have to look at it as, How is this task going to benefit the recipient?”

So when you arrive at work tomorrow, rather than getting deep-fried in the corporate pressure cooker, think of your every task as an opportunity to make someone’s life better, whether it is your co-workers, your customers, your shareholders, or your boss. In turn, you will feel happier, you will be more productive, and, who knows? Maybe you’ll get promoted, too.

Well, all right. The research didn’t go that far. The point is, there’s no need to hoard your talents. The pie is unlimited. Let go. Take the time to care for others, and God will take care of you.

As for my annoying email intruder, instead of packing up to go home at the end of the day, I decided to take a few extra minutes to craft a helpful response. As I was leaving the office, I thought, “What a great way to end the day.”


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Inside New Opening Church on the Hill, Glasgow

    Doors Open at Church on the Hill Iconic Southside Glasgow bar, Church on the Hill, has opened its doors again, following a £650,000 refurbishment. Read more

    The 20 April 2018 by   Emma
    DESTINATIONS, DINING OUT, FOOD & DRINK
  • Summer Dresses Ideas

    Summer Dresses Ideas

    Coucou everyone,Summer is almost here, are you excited?Long days on the beach (in the park), light evenings with glass of rose on the terrace, delicious ice... Read more

    The 20 April 2018 by   Dusana Bozenkova
    LIFESTYLE
  • BNV007: Who Is Brand New Vegan?

    BNV007: Brand Vegan?

    In this episode of the Brand New Vegan Podcast, I’m going to pull a Stan Lee and give you my Origins Story.    Please tell me you know who Stan Lee is so I don’... Read more

    The 20 April 2018 by   Chuck Underwood
    FOOD & DRINK, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, LIFESTYLE, VEGETARIAN & VEGAN
  • Donated Photos for the Diversity in Yoga (DIY) Photo Database!

    Donated Photos Diversity Yoga (DIY) Photo Database!

    by NinaLisa Leigh, Age 56I’m so excited about my new project, the Diversity in Yoga (DIY) Photo Database! Every time someone sends me a photo, I smile. Read more

    The 20 April 2018 by   Ninazolotow
    FITNESS, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING
  • Video: A Road Trip To All 59 National Parks

    Video: Road Trip National Parks

    Next week is National Parks Week here in the U.S., and to celebrate I thought this video was appropriate. It follows travelers Matthew and Renee Hahnel as they... Read more

    The 20 April 2018 by   Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • Bumpdate: 25 Weeks

    Bumpdate: Weeks

    Happy Friday babes! The sun is shining and there is NO snow in the forecast for the foreseeable future. HAPPINESS! We have a super fun and jam packed weekend... Read more

    The 20 April 2018 by   Thesamanthashow
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Starplex Renamed To Dos Equis Pavilion

    Starplex Renamed Equis Pavilion

    In a press release that just hit my in-box, HEINEKEN USA has announced the signing of a marketing alliance with Live Nation giving their key Mexican import Dos... Read more

    The 20 April 2018 by   Ohsocynthia
    DESTINATIONS, LIFESTYLE