Whether you’re a morning person or not, there seems to be a universal reluctance to greet people first thing. It’s very unlikely you meet a person who enjoys saying hello to each one of their coworkers with a smile every morning without fail.
If you do know this person, you probably think they’re weird.
However, in a post on the career advice blog Jobacle, Andrew G. Rosen argues that we’re actually missing out by being reluctant to greet each other. He says there are several reasons why you should start the day right, regardless of whether you enjoy the early start or not.
Sam Sommers, a teacher and researcher of social psychology at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, also argues about the power of hello in a blog post on Psychology Today. He writes that research has shown it’s the little things that make a big difference in social interaction. For example, smiling is contagious, and employees who smile more have customers who report higher satisfaction. He recalls one of his students thanking him for taking the time to say hello and talk to the class before beginning his lectures.
Saying hello might feel a little awkward at first, but it is actually appreciated by people more than you might think.
So, here are some of the reasons to give “good morning” a try:
1. It’s basic manners
Let’s be honest, saying hello to people is just a courtesy — one you should have learned at nursery. Greetings should be as basic as “please” and “thank you” in our daily lives, Rosen argues. “These two little words also go a long way towards improving communication and the overall atmosphere,” he says.
2. It humanises coworkers
You spend a lot of your time at work, so why not get to know those around you? Rather than seeing your coworkers as other cogs in the machine, get to know them as people, even if it’s just for a few seconds in the morning. You might like them more than you think.
3. It creates a more democratic environment
If everyone from the bottom all the way up to the CEO says hello to each other, it gives the impression of a more equal workplace where everyone is valued.
4. It’s quick
Even if the idea fills you with dread, saying hello only takes a couple of seconds, at most. If it’s really that painful, it might signal a bigger issue.
5. It’s free
It also won’t cost you anything to give it a try.
6. You might get noticed yourself
Everyone wants to be recognised for the good things we do in our careers. Saying hello to people might get you noticed, and you might then get the recognition you deserve once people actually know who you are.
7. It reduces awkwardness
If you have to talk to someone later on in the day, it is significantly less awkward if you’ve already said hi when they walked in. Better communication leads to better work arrangements, and you might find a whole load of benefits to getting to know people better.
8. You might cheer someone up
Don’t feel so arrogant that you might completely make someone’s day, but we all appreciate a smile and a greeting now and then. This is especially true if we’re having a rubbish day.
Sommers writes that the biggest obstacle people face with trying to form friendships is the fact we assume people aren’t interested. In reality, almost everyone wants to interact with people from all walks of life. Saying hello, Sommers says, is a simple way of starting to break down these barriers.
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