You’re walking down the hall at work and you’ve had a pretty unpleasant morning. You got to work late, missed part of your 8am meeting, and then you spilled coffee on your shirt. But, as you walk down the hall with your stained shirt and your coffee in hand, another fellow employee is approaching. At this point, you are DONE with your day and it’s only 9:15am. What do you do?
As hard as it may be to smile and say hello to this random person, it’s in your best interest to do it and do so genuinely. There are two BIG reasons behind this small genuine gesture.
Reason #1: That person may be your next boss.
When you start a new job, you’ll inevitably run into a few people in the break room on a routine basis. You may not know most of their names, but at least say, “Good Morning” or simply, “Hey.” Some will ignore you completely and others will want to start a full conversation with you.
Fast forward two years: You have an internal opportunity arise for a new role in business development. Your co-worker sets you up with this opportunity, but you don’t recognize the name of the hiring manager. Walking into his office seconds before your interview, you realize where you knew him from. He was one of those people you said hello to dozens of times in the break room. What if you blew him off just once? What if you ignored his greeting? People remember those things. They remember the people that aren’t friendly and truly genuine.
Reason #2: That person may work with your future boss.
After nailing the first interview, you get a second one a few days later. In that interview, a very similar moment occurs. Imagine this: Recently, you were invited to a minor league baseball game in which the company had box seats. Looking forward to meeting others that work at your company, you gladly accept. As you expected, you met a good 20 people there that night. So, what happened when you walked into your second interview a few weeks later? There he was. One of the 20 people that you had met at that baseball game. What would have happened if you were drunk that night? What would have happened if you were in a poor mood and wasn’t genuinely nice to him?
Had you blown either of them off or not been genuine, you can bet the outcome of those interviews would have been very different. Try your hardest to never let those bad moods or crappy days affect how you treat your co-workers, because your next boss may be that guy or gal that just passed you in the hallway.