Isn’t it nice when you are slogging along in your work and out of the blue someone sends you a really encouraging message? My most recent experience was a thank you e-mail in response to a screencast tutorial that I had shared with a group of co-workers. One of the recipients took the time to write me a little note about how much she appreciated it and how it would help her in her work.
*Time it probably took her: 2 minutes
*Time I will feel joyful about it: the rest of the day (at least)
It’s a good reminder to me that I should take the time to respond to people who have shared important/useful information with me. A “thank you” in any form is not only good manners, but it may be a huge boost to that person & their energy for the job that they are doing. It says, “You are valued!” While I am not one who needs tons of cheerleading comments, it sure is nice to get one when it is least expected.
I once had a principal who was so good at this type of thing. He was very visible around the building & had great rapport with the kids. It wasn’t unusual to see him pop in and out of the room while you were teaching. Sometimes you would find a little notepaper in your mailbox with a comment like, “I love how expressive your voice is when you read to the kids. Way to model enjoyment of reading! The students were captivated.” He was specific and sincere. I saved every one of those notes & looked at them more than once during the course of the school year. No wonder he is one of my favorite principals of all time; the personal touch really sticks with you! I know I was not the only staff member to receive these missives. He also took the time at staff meetings to give out a rose (or 2 or 3) to someone who had gone above and beyond that week….just to show that he had noticed. He would tell the story and we would all smile and clap as that person received their surprise award. What a special memory.
Do you keep a file with compliments you’ve received? If not, please start one immediately. I refer to it as my “Rainy day folder” and I pull it out when I need a lift. This recent e-mail reminded me that I should start an electronic rainy day folder, too. You never know when you’ll need a little boost! Apparently I did today, but I didn’t realize it until I had received that brief e-mail.
I intend to begin a new habit: giving at least one very sincere compliment to someone each day (in writing if possible). The “in writing” part is important so that people can look back at it and feel the joy all over again. I have some wonderful co-workers and I shouldn’t let them forget that they are valued.