Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks Verbally!

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. ~ Albert Schweitzer
It's not that we are not grateful, it's not that we are unappreciative...sometimes it is just challenging to express our gratitude and appreciation. Not this year at Thanksgiving!

You may have seen in my newsletter an example of a way to share verbal appreciation by using the following approach:

(Name), you are very _________ (strength), and that is appreciated because it makes a difference in _________. Thank you!

And, here are some others:

"Thank you, _________(name) for your efforts with ___________________ (task)! You really showed your _________________ (strength), and I appreciate you for that!


Thank you, _________(name) for being so _________________ (strength)! I appreciate it because you _______________________ (difference the person makes)!

Additionally, a toast to one or many people really makes an impression and can show gratitude. An example is:

Thanksgiving is a time for food, people and holiday cheer, so here's to the wonderful dishes we all have prepared, the friends and family who chose to join us, and all the fun conversations and memories we are about to share! I thank you for being here! (Raising glass) Happy Thanksgiving!

Whatever way you show your appreciation, a smile and sincerity are your best assets, and real gratitude cannot be delivered incorrectly, so go ahead, give, give, give!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

APT to Accomplish

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do."

~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
German Playwright, Poet, Novelist and Dramatist. 1749-1832

There are likely a lot of things on your "to-do" list right now...perhaps there seem to consistently be many items listed...

If you want to move from a list to being APT to accomplish what lies ahead, consider these three steps:

A - Assess your items.
Review your list or write the list. You are moving things from your mind to a physical place - on paper.

P - Prioritize. Everything is not a top priority, and so some things are "nice to do" activities. Perhaps a 1, 2, 3 or a, b, c categorization will assist you and your team/colleagues in focusing energies.

T - Take action. Without action (and not just the action of thinking about it!!), something is merely a thought or plan, and not something to complete or measure.

Keep in mind that your APTitude is derived in this case from your attitude and your follow-through, so assess, prioritize and take action in order to shift from "to-do" to "already done" this season...and into next year!

Friday, November 12, 2010

3 R's

"People only see what they are prepared to see." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

When many of us were growing up, it was the 3 R's that were stressed for success. With Reading , wRiting and aRithmetic as the focus in families, schools and learning, we knew where we stood with grades and feedback (even if we questioned our parents' and teachers' logic with attempting to get us to believe those words were truly R's!).

In business and life outside school, grades and feedback are in different formats. For post-school, I encourage you to consider a new approach to the 3 R's...Risk, Reward and Repercussion. With nearly every situation, every opportunity, every challenge, there is Risk, Reward and Repercussion. How so? If we assess Risk, we know how much we are willing to do or give up to get somewhere. Assessing Risk is what leads to the Reward and Repercussion portions of our decision-making. Rarely is something a neutral outcome. Sure, we can do nothing, but even doing nothing yields changes likely in the long run. So, along with assessing Risk, please review what will be the Reward if the Risk pays off, and also, what will the Repercussions be. It's more fun and engaging to think solely of the outcomes in a positive light, and yet if we are not ready for the possibilities, we too could end up as a statistic of the ill-prepared.

Whether it is something as seemingly small as eating at a new place (Risk=not sure about the food/reputation, Reward=may find a great place at a good price, Repercussion=might not be high quality and may overpay or get sick), or something as big as an expansion (Risk=not known in the area, Reward=grow business, profitability and reach, Repercussion=may be in debt and negatively impact current operations), if you consider the 3 R's before moving forward, you will be in a solid decision-making mindset to expect the best while being prepared for the worst. And after all, isn't that the reason we were supposed to focus on Reading , wRiting and aRithmetic as kids...so we'd be in the best position for our future?

Friday, November 5, 2010

4 Words

"When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain." ~ William Shakespeare

There are a lot of words spoken, and sadly, not as much actually said. We celebrate first, second and third places in many events, but not fourth. Often there are times we feel as though we "don't know what to say". Our parents may have raised us to be seen and not heard.

Having shared those 4 thoughts, it may seem strange to encourage you to offer 4 words to someone for whom you want to instill confidence. Sure, sure, those "three little words" are welcomed, too, and are not being discouraged. It's just this approach to uplifting another is a for a varied purpose.

Imagine the difference you might make if instead of silence when you felt awkward or unsure, or asking "what can I do?", you looked the person in the eye and uttered (sincerely, of course) "I believe in you", or "I'm here for you", or "I'm on your side", or "I've got your back", or "I care about you".

What would be different? For the receiver of your message, you might be the only person who shared such a sentiment that day, week, month, etc. Also, your belief, presence, support and care could be what pushes the person to go ahead an act on what she or he is "thinking about doing". For you as the sender of the message, it would be different for you to loan a little of yourself without it costing you anything. You'd get to be a part of consoling, uplifting, encouraging or praising another person...and that's worth being said, being celebrated, being shared, and being heard!