Find a way to let your colleagues share what
they are proud of and how they do it.
At times, the execution of appropriate recognition can move from the sublime to the ridiculous. I remember years ago sitting in a school auditorium during a student awards assembly that dragged on and on and on. It seemed everyone got an award for something. I remember a colleague turning to me and wondering when we would start calling people in from the streets for special recognition.
You probably have seen or heard of endless compliments and praise given for even the tiniest deeds (or misdeeds). Everyone is special and everything deserves special recognition.
Social media sites give “badges.”
Ridiculous? Possibly. I don’t think it’s sublime.
On the other extreme we can find the total lack of recognition. There are managers (definitely not leaders) who don’t take the time or don’t see the need to give a shout-out to their people. Ridiculous—and worse.
Every workplace has All Stars. I don’t mean the egocentric-look-at-me-strut All Stars. I mean those who go about their calling with meaning, authenticity, and caring. They make a difference in their work space and for the people they work for or with in that space. They lead the way. How do we recognize these folks—and share their strategies and achievements? How do we recognize these folks?
When I have the chance to work with an audience, I have the fortunate opportunity to stand in front of an auditorium full of people and “show my stuff.” I, also, like to share that opportunity with the audience in front of me. Each time I do it I am amazed (but not surprised) at what happens. Take my recent keynote on reflective practice to the faculty at Wake Technical Community College.
The organizers of the event requested I end my presentation with a fifteen minute Q + A. I suggested to make it a Q + A + S session. Question + Answer + Sharing. I would gladly entertain any questions the audience had and I would also open the floor to the audience to share how they already incorporate reflective practice strategies in their classes. What occurred was energizing and validating. In the fifteen minutes (that could have easily gone longer), everyone who stood up in the audience shared their bright spots. Proud and full of energy they had the spotlight in front of their colleagues. Unscripted. Unrehearsed. Unabashed. Proud! They represented the All Stars in that room.
I have done this elsewhere as part of training programs. Department Chairs identified their All Stars. I then incorporated them into a small piece of the program. In an upcoming program for a corporate audience I will facilitate a similar exchange.
Leaders can set aside time for their All Stars to deliver an Ignite Session. Five minutes. Quick. Poignant. Team member affirming. Team building. I saw students do this effectively at a faculty convocation in Virginia.
And if you work for a manager rather than a true leader—someone who does not get the importance of this type of genuine and authentic recognition and professional development-then do it yourself. Hold teaching circles, clearness committees, or Ignite Sessions. Tony Hsieh of Zappos speaks of encouraging collisions to foster innovation.
Video recommendation of the week: Tony Hsieh encourages “collisions” to spark innovation.
Find a way to let your colleagues share what they are proud of and how they do it. They want to hear from you as well. Time for you and your colleagues to shine and grow.
Now, that’s sublime.
Make it an inspiring week as you pursue your authentic “hell, yeah!” goals.—H.T.R.B. as needed.
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My books Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition) are published by Pearson Education.
(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.
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