Recently, a friend of mine posted on Facebook about what her son told her out of the blue one night.

Son: "Mummy, I don’t want to grow up."

Mummy: "Why not?"

Son: "Because if I did, then you’ll grow old and die. I don’t want mummy to die."

On a lighter note, another friend also recently posted on the same social channel about how her son (by sheer coincidence; my sample pool didn’t happen to include daughters) came back from Primary 1 one day with a cheese cake that was given to him during recess.

Mummy: "Why didn’t you eat the snack?"

Son: "Because I remembered mummy loves cheese cake; I wanted to save it for you."

Everyone repeat after me now: "Awww…"

I don’t know about you, but if my son-to-be says these – or similar – things to me, I’m quite sure I’d cry! Yes, they may soon forget what they’ve done and instead shower their girlfriends and wife with the same awww-some antics in time to come, but that’s another story. (Stay tuned for my 2028 article entitled "Tips on how to deal with son’s girlfriends – for jealous mums, by jealous mums".)

Incidences like these can melt the hardest of hearts. Now, it doesn’t have to take a kid to remind us of the simple stuff that matters. Adults can learn a thing or two from these examples and exercise the human touch at work – in the name of boosting better inter-colleague relations and enhancing productivity - too.

No, I’m not saying we should all become mushy and start whispering sweet nothings to one another. That would take up too much time. You should cut to the chase and grab your colleague by the waist this instant - or the neck, if you can’t find the former - to make a truthful confession! ("We need to talk. It’s about your *BO.")

*BO ≠ Bewitching Omnipresence

Okay, enough of all these nonsense. Let me cut to the chase on some tips on boasting your likeability at the workplace before you decide to grab me – not in an awww-fully nice way - by the waist/neck.

* * *

Exude positive energy

Go to work with a bounce in your feet – your colleagues will no sooner be influenced by your dynamic zeal.

Be crisp and courteous always

Build rapport with others and make them feel at ease with a smile on your face. Use words like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and phrases such as ‘would you like’ or ‘may I suggest’. Be humble but don’t allow people to take advantage of your humility - you can be polite yet firm at the same time. People will respect you for having an opinion.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

If you don’t want to be treated in an unpleasant or hurtful way, then put yourself in the shoes of your peers and think about how they might feel before acting on impulse. Better wait than sorry.

WITFM

No, this is not a new acronym involving a swear word. Rather, we could approach a colleague with a "What’s in it for me" angle when seeking a favour. People are more willing to help or open up when they there’s a perceived value tagged to a task.

Exercise humour

This always helps in an awkward situation. When you find yourself in a knotty kink, try saying something funny or witty to dispel the tension. Where appropriate, share a self-deprecating anecdote or two,

Let’s get personal

Remember a birthday and send a greeting. Sincerely congratulate a colleague on his promotion or newborn. Express your concern, sympathy or condolence when a co-worker’s down and out. Invite your office folks to your wedding or housewarming party. Share a useful tip/relevant experience. All these add up to make you less professionally aloof and more approachable.

Listen up

The human is preoccupied with oneself as it is by nature a patron of egoism. We spend 90% of the time thinking about things relative to ourselves. Make another person feel important by asking questions pertaining to him and getting his views instead of being preoccupied with getting your opinions across (on deaf ears).

Modeling

If there’s a certain quality you find charismatic about a peer, dwell further. It could be his polished way of dealing with and putting others at ease, or the way he makes people feel good about themselves. Study his moves and analyse how he delivers them. Creative emulation – to some extent - can provide a good shortcut to quick success.

* * *

Okay, I shall leave you to digest these points and make hay while the sun shines. In the meantime, my son’s kicking for me in the guts and I must make (some instant) milk while the belly grows – in spite of my being disagreeable with the formula’s ^BO.   

^BO = Beverage Odour

Everyone repeat after me now: “Awww…”