“Under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be loved, appreciated, and understood.”

This quote resonated with me.

Many of the relationships I have at work don’t get through the shell.  There are hundreds of employees.  I don’t know many names.  One regret I have is that I walk by teammates in the grocery store and don’t acknowledge them because we’re in a different context.

So much for confession.

But here’s the reality.  As teammates, we should be about the effort of getting through the shell of every teammate.  To be sure, we can’t each do that for everybody, but we should be mindful of digging into those who work closest to us.

Should we expect to be “loved” at work?  I think so.  To me “love” means positive regard.  It means respect.  It means conveying concern and compassion as we learn of disappointments and challenges.

Should we expect “appreciation?” Unquestionably.  There are no unimportant jobs. Every person on our team fills a role. If the role is filled well, we succeed.  When it’s filled well, it deserves appreciation. Spoken appreciation.  Regularly.  When someone delivers a product or service done as you need it and rely on it, that effort deserves acknowledgment.