Sincere Appreciation

Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay 

People do things well. We want them to know.

People do things well. They want to know.

We want to express appreciation. We want it to be sincere.

They want to be appreciated. They want it to be sincere.

We have barriers to showing appreciation. Fear, Ego, weird “great, great, great, great, great” patterns.

They have barriers to receiving appreciation. Fear, Ego, and that damn Narrator.

How do we show sincere appreciation? How do we satisfy the need?

Try these three simple steps.

  1. Tell them what they did.
  2. Explain the positive impact it had.
  3. Express appreciation.

What does this sound like?

“Mary, I wanted to let you know that the report you created for that customer was very helpful. They were confused, and you brought clarity. They went from hesitant to signing with us. Thank you for your hard work, your ability to simplify issues for the customers is very helpful, I am so glad you are here on the team.”

“Bill, I noticed last night that after the long day at work you spent time with the kids helping with their homework. Your patience and ability to explain the homework in more concrete terms helped them “get it.” Thank you for the sacrifice and for giving them the gift of your time, especially when you are tired.”

Jessica, thank you for taking out the trash as well as the recycling. Since your sister has been away at school, you have had to take on a few more responsibilities around the house. Your taking initiative to pick up these chores has helped us all with the new workload around the house. Thank you for pitching in and helping, it makes a real difference. Want to go get some ice cream?

Sincere appreciation helps them know they are seen.

Sincere appreciation helps them know their work makes a difference.

Three simple steps. Now we just need to act.

Try it out and let us all know how it goes.

And to help lead the way, I am going first.

Dear Readers of this work. You read, view, comment, share, and like this blog and have been doing so for years. Your participation has made me feel like I not only have a voice in this space, but can make a difference in the lives of others. Thank you so much for reading this, especially with all the choices you have out there. Your words of encouragement or even a “like” helps me break through my own narration that I shouldn’t keep doing this. Thank you for being here.

Want to go get some ice cream?

Thank you for believing in me.

18,181 days today.

18,181 days of breathing, moving, and living in this body.

I have an interesting relationship with this body. I ask a lot from it. I don’t always like it. It is not perfect. I make it run for long periods of time. I keep pushing it to give more, even when it is tired.

But lately we have been at odds with each other.

A few months ago, it let me down.

Yes, I know there are no bad runs, but recently there was a series of not great runs. A few times I had to stop, even during a race.

I began to doubt.

Words began to build up against my body.

Maybe you won’t be able to keep going.

Maybe this is what happens at “a certain age.”

Maybe I pushed you too far and we are winding down.

The words created distance between the two of us.

I could feel the distance, the disappointment, the disapproval.

Yesterday was a long run. I was nervous, and so was my body. We had a rough few weeks. We needed something to change.

So, I took the first step. I looked at the run history on my app and reminded my body of how many miles we ran. I reminded my body that we have run longer and in some of the most extreme weather. I reminded my body that it can do hard things. I reminded my body that I was not mad at it for the past few months.

Then something shifted. Everything felt lighter.

The run was not easy, but we kept going. Slow at first, building and finding our stride.

Then something happened about 2/3rd into the run. I actually heard my body speak. Softly at first, so soft that I almost dismissed it. But my body kept speaking until I could hear it.

“Thank you for believing in me.”

Even as I type these words a wave of emotion passes over me as it did while running.

I had replaced the frustration, the doubt, and the disappointment with belief. And my body responded. I was no longer fighting against it, but working with and encouraging it.

Since this moment I started to wonder how I can continue to show this belief internally, but also externally to those around me? Instead of frustration, doubt, and disappointment they may need belief from me as well.

So maybe, just maybe, it won’t just be my body who says, “Thank you for believing in me.”

Throw the Wrench

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

It was the opening line of the email that caught my attention.

I don’t want to throw a wrench in this, but…

The accepted definition of this phrase or idiom “Throwing a Wrench into the Works” means to damage or change (something) in a way that ruins it or prevents it from working properly.

But that is not what was happening here.

They were not trying to damage or ruin the project.

Their wrench was an idea to improve the situation.

But sometimes the project is already moving forward, and we are afraid of Wrenches causing delay or disruption.

Sometimes we have invested in a strategy or direction, and we are afraid of Wrenches causing us to move or admit we may have to accept a sunk cost.

Sometimes the world has changed from when we started the initiative, and we are afraid of Wrenches causing us to start over and change course.

How about a new definition of what it means to Throw the Wrench.

To Throw the Wrench is to speak up and offer an alternative.

To Throw the Wrench is to express your reservation or concerns.

To Throw the Wrench is to help an organization from making a mistake (or further mistakes).

Maybe more than ever, we need you to Throw the Wrench.

As organizations, we need to listen to, learn from, foster, and encourage the Wrench Throwers.

We need the Wrench Throwers to speak up, offer ideas and alternatives, and let us know before we make large mistakes.

One idea to foster the kind of organization that encourages people to Throw that Wrench is to create a contest for the best Wrench Throw. How about prizes and a celebration of speaking up and offering alternatives.

My closing advice to all of you: Throw the Wrench.

Post Success Doubt

Image courtesy of free photos on pixabay.com

You did it. You made it. You accomplished that thing.

There were times you struggled, and times you had to press through adversity.

You created, edited, designed, wrote, sold, presented, leveled up, shipped…

There was a moment of success.

It felt good.

But other feelings try to displace the good.

The Post Success Doubt.

“Maybe you were just lucky this time.”

“Well that was okay, but it could have been better.”

And the worst one…

“That was success for you, but look at that other person and how much more successful they are.”

Suddenly those positives surrounding your success are overrun. The positives didn’t stand a chance against those invading thoughts.

So what can we do?

Know that this doubt exists. This doubt can arrive after the rush (and good feelings) of success. It is much easier to create a defense if you know the potential attack exists.

Learn to pause and document your success. For me I like to write down what it was and the outcome. This provides me with written evidence to combat the doubt. If nothing else, I point to the page and say “see.” Don’t let that doubt discount you and what you did.

Celebrate your success. We tend to move from project to project, from task to task without taking time to acknowledge and celebrate our success. It also helps to celebrate with someone close.

(Helpful tip to those listening to someone’s success: listen well with your face, focus on what they are saying, and celebrate with them. This is not a great time to switch to your things, or make suggestions on how they could have been better, or worse yet, don’t give them the whole, “you should be humble” speech. There is enough false humility conversations robbing folks of celebrating their success.)

Your success is real. It takes effort and risk to create and bring things into this world. Let’s not allow the Post Success Doubt to take away from your success.

If you need someone to celebrate your success, we are all here waiting to hear from you and we will celebrate together.

Growing or Evolving

Image by Shepherd Chabata from Pixabay

Sometimes growing is the result of a solid strategy in the marketplace.

Sometimes growing is the result of timing and circumstances.

Sometimes growing is a little bit of luck, and a lot of hard work.

But one day the growing slows.

The growing stops.

We keep trying the strategies, the timing, the luck, and the hard work to keep growing, but we begin to shrink instead.

The world and the marketplace has changed.

The timing and circumstances are no longer the same.

The luck is no longer there.

The hard work seems to work against us.

Growing fooled us.

Being bigger with more clients, or more marketshare, didn’t make us better.

What worked before won’t work today (or tomorrow).

Instead of measuring the growing, we need to measure the evolving.

Are we evolving with our customers’ needs?

Are we evolving with the marketplace?

Are we evolving our services, our offerings, our strategy, toward the future? Are we relying on the past?

Growing works for a while, but evolving will keep you in the game in the long run.

Has growing mislead you? How can you and your company start evolving? Contact me and together we can discover the path to evolving.

The Non-Discounted List

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

It was a simple call. Connecting with a former colleague and young talented professional. Catching up on life, and moves, and kids, and the next. It was good to hear their voice.

As we discussed the next (the next chapter, the next adventure, the next role, the next possible career choice) the tone changed. What was normally enthusiasm and optimism took a sharp turn toward self doubt.

“I’m not really an expert or very good at any one thing. I am to sure what I have to offer.”

We talked a little more and came up with a plan, with homework of course.

The homework was to make a list of all the things they can do, or have done.

But not just any list. The non-discounted list. Brainstorming and writing down without limits or assuming that those experiences have no value.

The non-discounted list is NOT letting our mind, or our narrator discredit or take away from the things we have and can do.

The non-discounted list reminds us of all the experiences, training, and skills we have picked up along life’s journey.

The non-discounted list gives us hope for the future and the next.

We will connect again to review the non-discounted list. But in the interim, I’ve decided to make my list as well. A reminder of all the things that may add value, help others, and make a difference.

Sometimes we forget about all the skills we pick up along the way.

So today, maybe you should make a list. But not any old list. The non-discounted list of all that you can bring into the world. When you do make your list, I would love to read it.