Good morning, good morning

Good morning, good morning

My previous blog described my one trick– asking people actually doing real work this: What would make them happier and more effective in their work? Then getting them what they wanted. When I started performing it I expected hard requests—a better computer, better chair, better maps, more modern power tools, authority to buy what they needed rather than submit paperwork to a distant procurement office.

I actually got those answers and many more. But the number one ask, or rather complaint, was my boss doesn’t say good morning to me.

Why on earth would a boss walk by a worker and not say good morning? And so many act that way there must be an important reason. In earlier times I think I walked by people in the morning, avoiding eye contact so I could rush past, uninterrupted, and get to my work on time. If I said good morning I feared that they’d respond, good morning, how are you? And then a conversation might start. And I’d be wasting valuable time. I think I learned that trick in a time management course. Ugh. Ugh!

Each of the no-good-morning bosses must have their reasons for disrespecting their workers. But whatever time a boss saves by not saying good morning and risking delay, it’s value is far exceeded by the harm done to worker morale and enthusiasm.

In fact, saving time isn’t such a good goal. In my latest book I encourage ostentatious time wasting. Say good morning to everyone you encounter, including the security guard who stands at the building entrance. Ask how they’re doing. And listen to what they say. You’ll make them happier to be at work and you may even learn something.


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