Heading into Peet’s this morning for coffee, my mind was going a mile a minute thinking about the day ahead. Meetings to attend. Calls to make. Actions to complete.
An unexpected ray of sunshine brightened my morning as I approached the store. A fellow coffee aficionado I’d seen there from time to time shared a thoughtful compliment with me as I walked by.
Wow. It made me pause. It made me smile. It brought a whole new aura to my day.
He was talking about the workplace specifically as he advocated looking for opportunities to notice what others are doing right and being appreciative for their contributions.
This could be a positive twist on “if you see something, say something.” If you observe someone doing something great, take the initiative to recognize them for it. It could be a member of your team, a community acquaintance or the person standing next to you in line.
You never know what a difference you could make in someone’s day.
A colleague of mine, Andy Bailey, role models this at work. “Start every meeting with recognition,” he says. There’s a transformative power in beginning with gatherings this way. People feel more valued, the tone of the meeting is lighter and the time together becomes more productive.
Scott Adams takes the concept further in How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big. “Adults are starved for a kind word,” Adams wrote. “When you understand the power of honest praise, you realize that withholding it borders on terminal. If you see something that impresses you, a decent respect to humanity insists you voice your praise.”