How to Love Your Neighbor at Work

Guest Post by Peggy Bodde

 God doesn’t divide our days into “sacred” and “secular” blocks of time. In His Kingdom, everything is spiritual. Every moment is an opportunity to show others the love of Christ, in your neighborhood or at your workplace. 

My dear friend Peggy Bodde is a business leader and coach, a writer and speaker and all-around encourager. We met through work, believe it or not. I counted at least 22 practical tips in her guest post to help you love your neighbor at work this week. Which one will you try? How has someone loved you well at work?  

How to Love Your Neighbor at Work

Guest Post by Peggy Bodde

Researchers say that over the course of a lifetime, we will have spent one-third of our lives at work. Whether we work remotely, in an office, or a combination of both—we spend big chunks of days and weeks engaging with our coworkers: over 2,000 hours a year. How we treat them is a much truer reflection of our faith than church attendance or going to a Bible study with friends.

Few business books outright tell you to love the people you work with, but the Bible is clear that we need to do exactly that. The bottom line is found in 1 John 4:19:

“We love because he first loved us.”

God’s character and teachings don’t tell us to compartmentalize love and keep it in a safe little box outside the workplace. His love is in us, which means it should go with us everywhere, including the office or wherever we may work.

So how exactly do we love our neighbor at work?

Be Mindful Picture a red umbrella that covers every action you could possibly take to show love to your coworkers. There’s one word painted on the umbrella: mindfulness. When I was a senior vice president working in corporate America, I discovered that mindfulness is the key to loving well at work, because it helps us see opportunities:

  • the person who is irritable because her family is sick
  • the person who is stressed because a project is going south
  • the person who is celebrating a birthday or anniversary
  • the new person who is nervous
  • the person who is disappearing under her workload

Whether you’re in a physical office or attending meetings virtually, make it a point to see people and notice details. Ask God to open your eyes to those around you who may need encouragement or support. Then reach out. Send a message or an email. Make a call. Write a note. Buy the person coffee or lunch. Be present and listen.

Be Proactive You can act based on someone’s need, but you can also simply choose to proactively spread kindness throughout the workplace. The smallest actions can often have the biggest impact.

  • Express gratitude: Thank people specifically and often. Is there someone who helped you meet an objective? Do you work with someone whose positive attitude is contagious? Did someone go out of her way to make your job easier?
  • Call out excellence: Be generous in giving recognition. Praise someone’s achievements in a meeting, to the person’s boss, or one-on-one.
  • Call out potential: If you notice employees with an aptitude or skill that may not be recognized or even official, let them know what you see. Encourage them to use their gifts.
  • Invest time: Whether you’re a leader in your organization or not, choose to invest in the people around you. People who are new to the organization need to understand how the workplace culture works and could benefit from your experience. Informally mentor them to help them succeed.

For those of us who work full-time, one-third of our lives will be spent in the workplace. We have that many opportunities to love well! I pray God would find us faithful.

Peggy Bodde loves helping Christian women grow as leaders in the workplace. She was a corporate leader for over twenty years, and the best part of her job was mentoring women in business and helping them advance their careers. Her profession has changed, but her passion hasn’t. Sacred Work is Peggy’s way of extending the love of Christ by offering free leadership and career coaching.

Peggy is a business owner, writer, and leader. Connect with her at the links below.  (If you like her website, click the WEB BY TLM link at the bottom to be connected to my company.)

"I want to love God and love my neighbor,
but I don't know how."

 

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