Uncommon Sense

Uncommon Sense

Common sense ISN’T all that common!  We can make a positive impact by remembering to do the things we learned growing up and you DON’T need a title or great parking place to do it.  Do you want to make the atmosphere at work a place where people flourish and you don’t have much of a budget?  Try these low cost strategies:

1. Smile More.

A smile is the easiest connection point between people.  Further, we are biologically preconditioned to respond to a smile.  Try making eye contact, smiling and (if you think you can handle it) a simple greeting like “Hello!”  You’ll be surprised at the response you’ll get.

2.  Complain Less.

In the Navy, we would say that “a bitching Sailor is a happy sailor.”  I never bought into this.  Complaining usually breeds more complaining and will spread rapidly through a department (usually destroying any good morale in it’s path).  Staying busy usually gives me less time to complain.

3. Say Thanks!

Everyone likes to be appreciated.  Catch people doing things right and thank them for it.  When saying thanks, be specific for what and/or the impact it made.  Once you start, don’t stop.  You’ll soon see others doing the same.

4.  Laugh at Yourself.

No one likes to be laughed at but most like to be laughed with.  I find that laughing at my mistakes gives me control over them, I feel less stressed, and it puts others at ease too.  They say that tragedy plus time equals comedy, try to find the comedy even if you don’t have the time.

5.  Share a Story.

Many times when we go through trials, we think we’re alone until someone opens up and tells us they’ve gone through it too.  Stories are a powerful way of connecting with the people around you.  They also humanize the work and the worker.   Everyone has a story to tell, even you!

6.  Eat Donuts!

My ex-father-in-law (a pastor) once told me, “you show me a church that eats together, I’ll show you a church that is growing.”  I think the same thing bodes true for any organization.  It doesn’t have to be donuts (although they are sweet, yummy, and a gift from God), it can be anything you eat together that helps you spend time and commune with your team.  Plan a potluck, luncheon or, yes, have a donut day.

7.  Lend a Hand.

I don’t think I’m alone in not wanting to ask other’s for help.  I think many in our society feel asking for help is a sign of weakness.  Obviously, it’s not but we are socialized that way to a certain extent.  Combat that and help others with simple phrases like’  “Are you done?  Can I help?  What do you need?”  You might not get any takers but, when you do, you’ll earn a friend.

8.  Listen.

Quit thinking about what you’re going to say and just be in the moment – concentrating on what’s being said and not said.  ‘Nuff said.

9.  Be Fun, Not Funny.

Get the stick out of your craw.  Start each day with an attitude of fun and adventure.  If you have trouble with this, remember what it was like when you were a kid and all there was in front of you was possibility.  Then, engage!

10.  Carry Gum.

I remember back in school that when I had a pack of gum, EVERYONE was my friend.  Offering someone else a piece of gum is a great connection point and, even better, leaves them with minty breath.

11.  Keep it to Yourself.

We, as humans, LOVE THE GOSSIP!  Don’t engage, keep it to yourself.  Better yet, remember what your mom told you about not saying anything if you don’t have something nice to say.

12.   Be You (unless you’re an ass…then be a slightly nicer version of you)!

Authenticity counts.  Being nice counts.  Courtesy counts.  Remember how YOU like to be treated and then treat others accordingly.

“Purpose + Passion = Propulsion!”  – Chip Lutz


  1. I needed that today, Thanks Chip. your are the best. (in case you didnt know!)

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