Affirmation or Revelation

“I didn’t need it, they don’t need it!”

Usually said loudly and with passion.

Usually said with a negative and sometimes angry tone.

Usually as a response to the idea of coaching, encouraging, or recognizing employees.

Usually while being critical and perhaps judgmental of perceived generational or work-ethic differences.

“I didn’t need someone to tell me I was doing a good job!”

“I didn’t need a trophy just for showing up!”

“I didn’t need to be coached, I just worked hard!”

“I didn’t need a reward, it was my job!”

When these statements enter the room or conversation, pause and watch what happens.

These statements tend to weave their way through the crowd.

There are usually two responses to these statements that you can visibly witness.

  1. Affirmation 
  2. Revelation

Affirmation: people who have experienced similar treatment, management, or upbringing that nod and agree. This is what they were given, and they continue to give the same back to others.

Revelation: people who may have experienced similar treatment, management, or upbringing, but disagree with the past. They are making a decision to give to others in a different way than what as given to them.

After the short silence, typically one of the Revelation responders will speak up.

“I understand that you didn’t receive the affirmation, coaching, or reward along the way in life. I didn’t receive it either, but I realized how much of a negative impact it had on me. Was there a time when you wanted to hear something positive, a simple word of encouragement, or a little coaching?”

With a few simple questions, Affirmation may turn into Revelation.

They did need to be recognized.

They did need some coaching and encouragement.

They did need a reward for the sacrifice they were making.

The lack of what they needed made them hardened.

Instead of Revelation, the result was Affirmation of the very treatment, management, or upbringing that caused the negative impact.

Which response will you have?

Affirmation or Revelation?

New Patterns, New Memories

Getting together with people, especially with those who are close, is not always easy.

Logistics. What time, where, who, and what?

Dynamics. The past, the incident, that time, and those words.

Expectations. The food, the venue, the relationships, and the activities.

Patterns. When to eat, what to do, and how you interact.

Memories. Good, bad, stressful, and past.

These various categories cause an interesting dynamic when trying to connect with others. When these categories are associated with past stressful get-togethers, the days before you see these people again can be filled with stress and pressure.

This stress and pressure can hijack the present event by overwhelming you before you even arrive.

But, what if you could shift the pattern?

What if you tried a new approach?

I am lucky to be part of a group that is experimenting with a new pattern. 

Instead of crashing after a meal, we go for a walk (and talk).

Instead of huddling around the TV, we are playing fun and weird games.

Instead of large group discussions, we are making time to connect and catch up individually.

A new pattern is forming.

New memories are replacing the old.

Good Patterns. Good Memories.

It is awkward at first? Oh yeah, but totally worth it.