We’ve been having some really intense thunderstorms lately—big, windy, black-as-night, lightning-filled, tree-shredding mayhem machines. We lost power during our last storm. As my wife and I ate Thai food by candlelight in our kitchen, I scoured Twitter for outage updates from our power company (as one does), which were non-existent. I complained that our local all-news-all-the-time radio station was still bot-tweeting stale stories that had nothing to do with the storm, nor the fact that trees had fallen on cars everywhere and people had no power.Someone tweeted back to me that I should follow real weather pros to get timely information, to which I responded that I did—one of whom I think is really good. I paid her a compliment in a tweet. She responded, thanking me.Also recently, an athletic friend of mine was doing her athletic things when a complete stranger took notice and complimented her out of the blue on how well she was doing. She said it made her week, and it felt like it had been an eternity that she had any positive reinforcement (outside of her close family and friends) in any facet of her life.I’ve seen my colleagues go out of their way to high five each other for stepping up and doing a good job, both in person and on Slack. At their suggestion, to take it a step further, we have instituted a “toast of the week” every Friday afternoon in our offices. It’s a nice way to highlight a specific person’s contribution, as well as transition into the weekend by sharing a beverage together.When it rains it pours. Just this week, our random Know Your Company question for our employees was, “Are there any small things we could do to show our appreciation for each other’s work?” Good timing.It’s been a challenging 2014 for me. A confidence shaker. Work has been a bit unpredictable, and lots of things have been happening around me that make me wish I could hit the reset button. However, recently, I had a chance to reconnect with my practitioner roots and contribute to a client deliverable, something from which I have been largely removed as our company has grown. My coworkers offered compliments and thanks for my contributions, and I felt a bit like a withered plant that just received a healthy watering. Literally minutes later, I was bouncing around the office like I hadn’t been in weeks.Personally, I know I need to step up my game with respect to providing positive feedback, and sometimes it takes just a smidgen of positivity directed toward you to hammer that truth home.
17 Jul 2014
Principal of Happy Cog. Founder (Emeritus) of Bureau of Digital. Commercial aviation & beer geek. Dad of 2, husband of 1. Big Green Egger.