One of the most powerful things a woman can do to help influence a positive workplace is set a good example. What exactly "setting a good example" entails can be a little hazy, though. No matter what your job title is, who your co-workers are or where you workplace is, there are a number of great examples of being a great example -- what a mouthful! -- that work across the board.
Every employee comes across problems during her work day. Effective employees, though, find resolutions to those issues. One of the best ways to get your employees or your peers to become excellent problem-solvers is to lead by example. Find the solutions to problems you face, and offer constructive advice for those who come to you with their issues. Use positive language with peers to show that you have confidence in their ability to resolve issues and encourage the habit of problem-solving.
The Team Player
Rarely in the workplace does an employee not have to work as part of a team in some capacity. Being a team player means treating all team members with respect and courtesy, expecting respect and courtesy in return and coming up with and executing a plan that solves the issue at hand. Set a good example for your team by encouraging collaboration and productive brainstorming, listening intently to others' ideas and suggesting your own. Keep in mind, however, that being a good team player does not mean doing everyone else's work; there's a big difference between being a team player and a pushover.
The Reliable Co-Worker
Being reliable can mean a lot of things. Most of all, it means that you're trustworthy. The best ways to show you're reliable is by keeping your word, being consistent and honoring your commitments. Arriving to work on time -- or early -- every day is a great start. Also, following through will build your reputation as a reliable co-worker. This means you finish your work by the time you say you'll complete it, show up for team meetings you say you'll attend and provide assistance to co-workers you promise to help.
The true meaning of the word "pacifist" is someone who loves peace or objects to conflict. In the workplace, avoiding conflict can be harder than you think. Some of the more obvious examples is not fighting with co-workers or engaging in heated arguments. However, an example of setting a a very high bar for workplace conflict is resisting and discouraging gossip. Rumors and hearsay can be innocent enough, but engaging in the spreading of untrue or hurtful gossip is setting the stage the potential for workplace conflict. Set a good example by walking away from those who are gossiping around the water cooler. Take it a step further by directly saying, "I don't want to gossip about my co-workers," to someone trying to give you an earful.
The Customer Service Expert
Being a good example of an excellent employee doesn't end with your colleagues. One of the best ways to set a good example is by leading with customer service. Working with your peers is highly important to company productivity, but keeping your clients happy is imperative. By using the same techniques you use to set a good example for your peers -- problem-solving, working as a team, being reliable and avoiding conflict -- you'll keep customers happy and satisfied. When your colleagues see your workplace success, they'll want to follow suit.
Jennifer Kimrey earned her bachelor's degree in English writing and rhetoric from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas. She's a regular contributor to the "Houston Chronicle" and her work has appeared on Opposing Views Cultures, The Austin American-Statesman, The Red Vault, The Western Vault and various other websites and publications.