5 Practical Ways to Be a ‘Friend That Does’ in a Professional Setting

Following up on our recent discussion about the underestimated power of friendship in business and professional growth, let’s delve into the nuts and bolts of what it means to be a “friend that does” in a professional setting. As Bob Goff so succinctly put it, “Friends do – they don’t just think about it.” But what are some practical ways to embody this principle in your workplace? Here are five actionable ideas:

1. Offer Genuine Mentorship

One of the most valuable gifts you can offer someone in a professional environment is the gift of mentorship. Take time to guide newer or less experienced colleagues through challenges they’re facing. This could mean helping them with a tricky project, giving advice on navigating office politics, or providing feedback to help them grow in their roles. Offering your expertise not only solidifies your relationship with them but also contributes to a more collaborative and supportive work environment.

2. Be Proactive in Problem-Solving

If you notice a colleague struggling with a particular issue—whether it’s a difficult task or a challenge with a client—don’t just stand by idly or wait for them to ask for help. Proactively offer your assistance. Brainstorming solutions together can not only solve the immediate problem but also strengthen your professional friendship through shared victories.

3. Make Time for Face-to-Face Conversations

In an era of emails and instant messaging, the power of a face-to-face conversation cannot be overstated. Take the time to step away from your desk and have genuine interactions with your colleagues. Whether it’s discussing a project over coffee or simply asking about their weekend, these conversations build rapport and trust, key foundations of any meaningful friendship.

4. Celebrate Others’ Successes

In a competitive professional environment, it’s easy to focus solely on your own achievements. However, a friend that “does” takes the time to celebrate the successes of others. Whether it’s a colleague’s work anniversary, a successfully completed project, or a promotion—make it a point to celebrate these moments. A simple congratulatory note or treating them to lunch can go a long way in showing that you genuinely care about their success as much as your own.

5. Be Reliable and Consistent

Perhaps the most straightforward yet often overlooked aspect of being a “friend that does” is reliability. If you commit to a task or promise to assist with a project, make sure you follow through. Consistency and reliability in your professional interactions not only establish you as a trustworthy individual but also reinforce the strength of your professional friendships.

Conclusion

Being a “friend that does” in a professional setting isn’t about grand gestures or dramatic declarations. It’s about the steady, consistent actions that show your colleagues that you’re not just there to clock in and clock out, but to be a supportive, reliable part of their lives. These friendships, when nurtured correctly, can be instrumental in fostering not only a healthy work environment but also personal and organizational growth. So the next time you’re at your workplace, look for opportunities to be a better friend. Your career—and your life—will be richer for it.