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Campus & Community

Five to Thrive 9/9/2019

Your Weekly Tips for Workplace Success

By Thriving Workplace Initiative Staff

Illustration of coffee mugs with a blue background

Illustration by Creative Strategies

Illustration by Creative Strategies

UMD’s Thriving Workplace Initiative is making the University of Maryland a great place to work by providing tools and support to foster engaged, inclusive and empowered faculty and staff across campus.

Each Monday, its Five to Thrive list offers five strategies crowdsourced from research, experts and our own UMD community to help your workplace thrive.

Want to build a Thriving Workplace? Here are this week’s tips:

  • Make the most of mea culpa. Research shows that an effective apology is the key to building trust, strengthening relationships and defusing a tense situation. But it’s an art. Start with the simple phrase, “I’m sorry,” then make it specific to what you are sorry for, and without justification.
  • For projects and assignments, plan the time, not the output. Instead of saying, “I’m going to get xx done today,” say “I’m going to work on xx for two hours today.”
  • Make sure every member of your unit knows what drives the team’s work. This goes beyond a generic mission such as “educate students.” Share the motivations, initiatives and programs that add color to the overarching goal.
  • When you see something (good), say something. Don’t withhold praise and recognition until performance review time. When you praise in real time, it will happen again and again. And you won’t run the risk of forgetting it by the year-end review.
  • Struggling with wording in a delicate e-mail? That could be a sign that what you’re trying to communicate should not be done by email. Have that conversation in person or by phone.

Want more tips? Visit the Thriving Workplace Resource Library or sign up for Food for Thought Friday, which delivers strategies to your inbox each week. Send an email to with the subject listserv to subscribe.

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