How to Honor Strength and Celebrate Progress
Celebration establishes, builds, and reinforces positive culture.
A clap does more good than a slap.
If you don’t like what you see, start celebrating the things you want to see.
The more you complain, the more you have to complain about.
Celebration creates culture.
Short-sighted leaders fear celebration.
Negative leaders are stingy with celebration and free with complaint.
- What went wrong?
- What needs to be fixed?
- Who fell short?
Negative leaders build negative environments.
Stingy leaders reserve celebrations for “the big stuff.”
- What qualities do you respect in those around you?
- What do you love about your job?
- What’s going right?
- Where are the points of energy in your organization?
Celebration and meetings:
End every meeting with affirmations, congratulations, and recognition.
Celebrate great work and you’ll get more great work.
“But” is an erasure:
A friend of mine taught me to say the good and withhold the bad.
“But” drains positives of their power.
“You’re on target this month, BUT last month you fell short.”
All you hear is the “But”.
“You’re good, BUT you aren’t that good.”
Allow celebration to stand on its own. Don’t mix performance problems with celebrations.
- Preparation. “Your contribution to our meeting tells me you came prepared.”
- Positive attitudes. “Your positive attitude lifts the spirit in our office.” Don’t sarcastically add, “You should try it more often.”
- Laughter. “Laughter in our meetings tells me we enjoy working together.”
- Generosity. “Thanks for going the extra mile.”
- Strength in others. “You’re great with upset customers.” Don’t add, “I wish I was.”
Don’t let past failure or future uncertainty put an end to celebrating now.
Celebrating requires vulnerability:
The server used my name at breakfast last Saturday. I felt vulnerable, but said, “Thanks for remembering my name.”
What prevents leaders from celebrating?
What small things might you celebrate today?
The Top 10 Reasons Why Leaders Should Celebrate Wins (Reliable Plant)
Successful Leaders Celebrate Their Failures (Forbes)
Celebration Time (Psychology Today)
This I like, Positive attitudes. “Your positive attitude lifts the spirit in our office.” Don’t sarcastically add, “You should try it more often.” My take on this is broader in terms of how one manages attitude towards the positive. Too often I see those I work with bring non positive attitudes into what they do. I always bring positivity into what I do and my interactions with others. A major influence on my early life was my Grand Mother Elizabeth who always had Guidepost Magazine and Dr, Norman Vincent Peales Positive Attitude books around for me to read. She also lived a positive life that affected everyone around her. So why is it so difficult for most I interact with to be positive or seek positivity in what they do. Is it their upbringing with the lack of positivity examples? Looks to me as if that’s the case and the comment here leans toward helping mentor others towards being positive in any small way one can. Hers to a positive day and mine is so since I met my first Grandchild yesterday after driving 1600 miles from SOCAL to East Texas.
Hey Roger. Congratulations on your first Grandchild!! Love your story. You demonstrate the power of example.
I love this! It’s a perfect post for this time of year, too. Thanks for the reminder, Dan. I will definitely keep this one for future reference. Cheers!!!
Thank you so much for this post, speaking as an employee, I am reassured when my boss acknowledges my work or when we celebrate our accomplishments as a team. While constant celebrations diminish any act worth celebrating, because it is no longer extraordinary or special, there are times when celebration is warranted. Creating a culture in which employees feel like their efforts are not just to gain income, but to propel a company or organization forward is crucial to the overall success of said company or organization. I also vehemently concur that ‘but’ is an erasure, one which does not honor or celebrate an individual, no matter how affirming the words were before that ‘but.’ Not every moment needs to be a teaching moment or a time to remind workers of their past mistakes or how they could do better next time. ‘You’re on target this month.’ That is a complete sentence, one which every hard-working employee needs to hear. Negativity, as you state, creates a culture which fosters more negativity from all involved. When a boss or leader only acknowledges the good when they immediately follow up with the bad or the negative, that is all the employee will take away. Negative reinforcement is very rarely, if ever, effective in motivating individuals. Positive reinforcement on the other hand still informs the employee of the behavior you want them to change without diminishing their confidence, which is key to success in and out of the workplace. While finding the line between the two can be challenging, it is necessary to identify the best tactic for employee performance, and that can be found through practice and trying out a variety of different levels of positivity versus negativity. Lastly, I believe that honoring workers in little ways regularly is like mini celebrations. Celebrations of that person and their work, of your working relationship, and of the company or organization all together.