The Power of Recognition & Celebration
Ruby Vesely, June 11, 2018
When was the last time you prepared for a conversation? My guess is that it was most likely a difficult one. Are you just as intentional when planning a conversation focused on recognition or celebration? In the book Cultivate, The Power of Winning Relationships, Morag Barrett describes this as an Applaud Conversation. When we thank someone or celebrate success in an intentional way, it creates a lasting and meaningful memory. Here are some tips to make your Applaud Conversations and celebrations even more impactful.
Go Beyond the Obvious
Our success is dependent on all of our critical stakeholders, not just the most obvious ones. Peer-to-peer recognition and Applaud Conversations are some of the most powerful, in that they build stronger relationships and are often unexpected. Other critical stakeholders might include the front desk receptionist or facilities team members at your office. How surprised would they be if you intentionally thanked them for the work they do every day?
Next step: Plan for one Applaud Conversation this week with one of your critical stakeholders.
Do something unexpected! It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant. It simply needs to be genuine, timely and connected to a behavior you want to reward. Write a hand-written thank you note. Call a co-worker and thank them. Schedule a quick get together for your team (live or virtual) to celebrate a “win” that happened earlier in the day. It is the spontaneous and unexpected moments in life that we tend to remember the most.
Next step: Brainstorm some “spontaneous” and/or creative ideas for recognition or celebration. Keep this list on hand for quick reference.
Celebrate the Small Stuff
We can sometimes wait too long to celebrate (e.g. the end of a project, quarter end, year-end). When work projects become daunting, small celebrations and recognition along the way will lighten the load. This is extremely important in virtual relationships when it is more challenging to build trust and camaraderie among the team. Incorporating recognition and praise into the everyday moments will reinforce team connections and build trust.
Next step: Plan an interim celebration for a meaningful project that is currently underway.
What commitment will you make to have consistent Applaud Conversations? You can incorporate this into regular staff meetings, quarterly and annual team sessions, or in your regularly scheduled 1-on-1s. In our staff meetings, we each share what went well the past week. Many times, this includes a “shout out” or thank you to another team member. You can even put a reminder on your calendar to have regular Applaud Conversations. There is no shame in that! If we schedule it or write it down, we are more inclined to do it.
Next step: Change one small thing to make recognition and celebrating success part of your team culture.