Just show up. Simple, right? Well, apparently not. I had a conversation with someone recently about what it means to “show up”. She was saying that it’s really more difficult for people than we realize. Huh? I had a hard time getting my head around this. She said showing up requires people to be reliable, to be present, to pay attention (sometimes to others, sometimes to ourselves), to be in the moment, and to have an awareness of what’s going on around them.
Seems easy enough to me! She said many folks simply don’t know that the very smallest things can be about showing up.
So I decided to make a list of 13 ways to show up in the workplace.
13 (simple) ways to show up in the workplace
1. “Like” someone’s page. This especially helps small businesses and nonprofits with limited marketing money to boost their presence, get a message out to a wider audience; and takes 1 second to do. If someone asks you like their page, do it.
2. “Retweet” something posted on Twitter and add a brief comment. This does the same as above and your comment lets your network know why you support this person; that’s often enough reason for them to provide support, too.
3. “Share” or “forward” an opportunity with someone. Perhaps the grant that came across your desk isn’t a good fit for your organization, so forward it to a colleague. Have an extra ticket to a fundraiser? Share it with a staff person who may not typically get to go to those kinds of events (if they work in your nonprofit, they probably don’t make enough money to attend some fancy fundraisers!).
4. Add your name. I’ve timed it, it takes less than 3 minutes to sign a petition. I can always find three minuets to support a colleague’s passion or interest and add my voice or vote. So can you. And then, let the person know you did. Sometimes we think our requests get lost in the outer-space of the Internet.
5. RSVP AND go! Seeing a friendly face in the crowd of an event we've planned means a lot. And at the very least if you can’t go after saying you can, send that person a note as soon as you realize you won’t be attending. This allows them to recalculate their food/beverage budget; it could open up a space for someone else to attend, and even may provide enough time for them to recruit/invite others.
6. Donate $5. You're not being cheap. Just $5 makes a difference for organizations and small businesses. How many Facebook Friends do you have? 350? 475? 600+? Imagine if each of them gave $5 to an organization that is trying to meet a fundraising goal? If you have more to give, give it. You never know, your $5 may tip the scale for the organization.
7. Volunteer. I know those of us who work in nonprofits sometimes feel like our 9-5 (Ok, more like 9-9!) is a volunteer gig so it leaves us feeling drained and sometimes unwilling to take the time to volunteer for someone else. While that is true, anyone who has ever volunteered or relied on volunteers knows how powerful this human capital is. It can be a 1x experience to be a chaperone, to clear out a garden or serve a meal.
8. Serve on a Board. I used to worry about serving on a board because of the financial obligation and my focus was on raising money for my organization. Two way’s I’ve navigated that is to: Serve on a committee other than the development committee. AND, I’ve also served on the development committee and used it as a way to look for ways to collaborate. Serve on the board of an organization whose work is different from yours and whose mission or focus you are passionate about. It’s easier for me to ask for money if I feel passionately about the work they are doing.
9. Listen. Bring all of your focus to the person who is speaking. Put your phone down, turn your body to face them, lean in a little.
10. Step back or to the side. Create an opportunity for someone whose voice may not be heard often to step up. And when they do, you step to the side (sometimes literally) so they know you are there beside them for support.
11. Make an introduction. Set up a coffee date between two people who would benefit from knowing each other. Maybe someone you know would make a great board member (see above!) for someone’s organization. Take the two people out to coffee and make the connection! Our networks are an important part of sustaining and growing our work, especially if you are in nonprofits and/or own a small business.
12. Get your part done. Our work is often interdependent and requires different people to take responsibility for various parts of the work. It’s simple. Do your work. Do it well. And get it done on time. Be someone that colleagues can rely on. Be the person that people know will show-up.
13. Ask:"what do you need?" This gives people the chance to express what they need and creates an opportunity for you to be reliable, present and available. In other words, to show up!
What do YOU do to show up at work?