Two weeks ago, we started a two-part series about what it looks like to be the salt and light in our workplaces. With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas quickly approaching, it’s time we climb into our attics or dig into storage and pull out the lights.
Returning to the book of Matthew, which reads, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16
We light our front porches, our Christmas trees, and our homes – but what if we were to bring the same joy into our workplaces? As the light in our workplace, we are called to shine the light on the good we encounter and bring light to areas that are not as they should be.
Shine the light
It’s easy to recognize laziness or incompetence in other people that causes more work for us. But how often do we go out of our way to acknowledge the positive impact of another person’s work? Let’s learn to pick up on small details that we can use to offer affirmation to others to encourage and lift them up!
Things you can ask yourself are:
- Did your boss provide you with helpful feedback on a project?
- Have you noticed any strengths in the trainee you’ve been working with?
- Do you have a co-worker you can rely on for precise, organized work?
The second thing we can do to shine the light on the good among our team is to build relationships and appreciate those we work with. Assuming others know we appreciate them is a slippery slope. Considering that gossip and having “mutual enemies” in the workplace are so common, showing appreciation should be handled intentionally and with a clear heart.
Learn about your co-workers and team members and how they like to be appreciated. Celebrating them in the way that is most meaningful to them will make your efforts go a long way.
Different ways you can show your appreciation to your team:
- A public shout-out in a team meeting or email, go the extra step and share it with your email subscribers or social media followers. This is great for team wins!
- A 1:1 coffee or lunch, giving your undivided time and attention, is a great way to show you’re thankful for someone’s input on the team.
- Send them a personal text or call, or even leave them a note on their desk. Adding personalization and specificities as to what you appreciate is vital.
Bring the light
When things are not as they should be in the workplace, it’s easy for us to relinquish responsibility. I often think of the colloquial phrase, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” But when it comes to addressing these areas of brokenness, we should instead be thinking, how can I bring light to this situation?
- One thing we can do, is offer our assistance. Offering our time and help to our colleagues supports a culture that yields great morale, support, leadership, and productivity.
Remember, it’s sometimes hard for some to ask for help. One way you can proactively offer assistance is by recognizing the challenges those at work may be facing. Use your own experience to help identify when others are struggling. For example, when a new colleague is starting at the company where you work, consider what challenged you when you first started working there and see if you can help with orientation tasks.
- Secondly, advocate for your co-workers. It’s easy to forget that our co-workers have their own lives and struggles. Keeping that in mind, we should take it seriously when we pray for our team or specific co-workers. As we pray for God to help them, we can remember that God Himself is the most excellent help they can know.
If we think about it, our co-workers are some of the people we have the most opportunity to share the gospel with or display Christ-like character to. So this week, let’s enter our workplaces with a renewed sense of intentionality to share Jesus’ light in all that we do.