by Lynette Silva
Last week I enjoyed my first “real” vacation in many years. Learning from the experts I’ve been studying in preparation for WorkHuman next month, I fully disconnected and focused on relaxing and refreshing my mind, body and spirit. It was wonderful!
However, I can’t just switch off my Power of Thanks gene. Once the Power of Thanks gets into how you process your interactions with the people around you every day, everywhere, it becomes second nature to notice great acts of appreciation and joy among others.
So, from my vacation, three object lessons on the power of appreciation I observed in others.
Phillies Baseball – “Jump Around”
My husband, Paul, is a huge baseball fan. We try to take in a baseball game wherever we happen to be on vacation. So, catching a Phillies game while in Philadelphia was a must. Between innings, snippets of popular, fan-energizing music would play. Halfway through the eighth inning, when energy began to flag, the classic “Jump Around” started to play. The usher, a gentleman in his 60s standing at the bottom of the aisle on the railing separating the fans from the field, began to dance and jump around. (I’d share the video, but I don’t have permission from the usher.) Clearly, he enjoys his work and engages with it more deeply than required. And clearly, the fans enjoy him! Technically, his role is to enforce the rules of the ballpark. And still the fans gave him a standing ovation for his dance skills.
The Lesson: When you love your work, it shows. And when it shows, people appreciate you and your efforts all the more.
Cleveland Museum of Art – “Teamwork”
On the recommendation of Brenda Pohlman, fellow blogger here on RecognizeThis!), Paul and I visited the truly outstanding art museum in Cleveland. (And no snide remarks about choosing Cleveland as a vacation destination – it’s a great city and we had a fabulous time!) The museum is huge and, despite spending five hours there, we still didn’t see it all. We needed a snack break halfway through our visit and so visited the museum café. While checking out, the cashier stopped in the middle of ringing up our items to call out to a coworker walking by, saying, “Hey, Todd! You’re the best person here to work with. You make the day more fun and the work easy.” To which Todd replied, “Teamwork makes the dream work! You let me know if you need anything!”
The Lesson: We all have capacity to make work better for those we work with every day. Our attitude and our approach is our own choice. Let’s choose to make work human.
Hotel Room TV – “The Profit”
Every vacation needs a little mindless TV watching in the hotel, right? Unwinding one night, we caught an episode of “The Profit” on CNBC. In this show, Marcus Lemonis invests in struggling businesses, giving both money and his time and expertise to turn it around. In this “Progress Report” episode (click here to watch, then skip ahead to 19:37), Marcus is visiting businesses he’s already invested in to see how they’re doing. One such business was Unique Salon & Spa in Long Island, NY. Though the spa is doing very well now, I was most touched by what Marcus had to say to spa owner Carolyn, telling her explicitly how impressed he is by her work ethic, commitment and dedication. Carolyn visibly tears up, moved by the appreciation that, as the owner and boss, she likely doesn’t often hear.
The Lesson: We never get promoted to a level where we no longer need to hear “thank you.” Even “the boss” needs to hear “I notice and appreciate what you do.”
Where do you see the power of thanks happening around you? How can you contribute to a greater experience of appreciation for others?
About Lynette Silva
Facts and stats run through Lynette Silva’s veins. She uses her wealth of data and knowledge to help customers build strong business cases for the power of thanks to increase employee engagement, retention, productivity, and performance. In her role as senior recognition strategist and consultant at Globoforce, she’s also a frequently requested speaker and session leader. Lynette holds a B.S. and M.S in History Education from Boston University.