Tag Archives: Recognition

Team Celebrations

Team CelebrationThis is the time of the year that many companies take some time to celebrate the holidays.  This is a great tradition that can be used to catch your breath before year end activities, as well as celebrate the good of the past year and look forward to exciting things for next year.  Celebrating what went well is a great way to wrap up the year and set the stage for a strong start to the New Year.

To have the greatest positive impact think about recognizing the following things:

  1. Team successes.  What goals seemed out of reach but were met?
  2. Challenges overcome.  Where there things that could have been set backs, but ended up being success stories.
  3. Humorous moments.  Reflect on some funny moments (where you are the one being laughed at).
  4. Risks that paid off.  Remember events where bold action brought about great rewards.
  5. Say Thank You.  Thank the team as a whole and make a point to thank each individual for their efforts.
  6. Highlight the positive.  Focus on what went well and what looks promising in the future.

Taking the time to do these things, whether at a party or a lunch or in a note, will go a long ways to helping your team feel appreciated and set the stage for the new opportunities ahead.  People want to be sincerely appreciated for what they do each day.  This time of the year provides a natural setting for extending your thanks for what they do.

When communicating your appreciation remember to:

  1. Be sincere
  2. Use specific examples
  3. Focus on the individual
  4. Share excitement about future
  5. Stay positive

However you choose to end your year take a few moments to thank those around you and celebrate your team.  You would not be where you are without them so let them know that you recognized all they have done.  Have fun and enjoy the moment.



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Filed under Leadership, Team Building

Quote for Nov 22nd

In honor of the American holiday of Thanksgiving, I am so gratefule that I have been able to share my thoughts with all of you and to have you share your thoughts with me.  Thank you! 

Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.
Henry Van Dyke

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Have You Said Thank You Lately?

When was the last time you said Thank You to a co-worker?  Recently I had a conversation with one of my client’s regional managers.  We spent an hour discussion the needs of his team for the upcoming year.  It was a great conversation with a manager who was sincerely concerned about the development of the people below him, himself and the overall organization.  It was refreshing and enlightening.  The best part of the whole experience was the thank you email I got from him a couple of hours later. 

In this email the manager said Thanks, it was good talking to you and that he looked forward to working with me in the future.  I can honestly tell you it made my day.  I was doing what I needed to do as part of my contract, and I really enjoy helping this group find new solutions to their challenges.  They are a great group, but that very short note really made an impact on me.  I responded immediately and told him he made my day when we next spoke.  His small act of gratitude took a normal business interaction from good to great! 

Many of us have taken to heart the idea of being grateful for the things in our lives and we say thanks to the people we care about more often.  But how many of us take a moment to say thank you at work?  It seems that this simple act is too often neglected in the pursuit of goals and results.  However, it can be one of the simplest ways to build strong, positive relationships with co-workers and customers.  Who doesn’t like to be told thank you?  Recognition is one of the greatest motivators and honest gratitude is one of the most powerful forms of recognizing someone’s efforts.  As a leader recognizing your team’s efforts informally and in the moment can create good will that helps them through the rough times.

My reaction to the simple thank you note reminded me how important it is to recognize people’s efforts and how easy it can be.  We just have to take a brief moment and say “Thank You”.  I know that I will be showing more gratitude from now on.

Thank you for spending some of your time reading my post.  I hope you have a great day!



Filed under Leadership, Team Building

Recognizing Your Team

This is a story about the impact of each person’s contribution and the value of recognizing those efforts.  How do you thank those who help you each day?

Packing Parachutes – Excerpt from Chapter 16
By Charlie Plumb

Recently, I was sitting in a restaurant in Kansas City. A man about two tables away kept looking at me. I didn’t recognize him. A few minutes into our meal he stood up and walked over to my table, looked down at me, pointed his finger in my face and said, “You’re Captain Plumb.”

I looked up and I said, “Yes sir, I’m Captain Plumb.”

He said, “You flew jet fighters in Vietnam. You were on the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down. You parachuted into enemy hands and spent six years as a prisoner of war.”

I said, “How in the world did you know all that?”

He replied, “Because, I packed your parachute.”

I was speechless. I staggered to my feet and held out a very grateful hand of thanks. This guy came up with just the proper words. He grabbed my hand, he pumped my arm and said, “I guess it worked.”

“Yes sir, indeed it did”, I said, “and I must tell you I’ve said a lot of prayers of thanks for your nimble fingers, but I never thought I’d have the opportunity to express my gratitude in person.”

He said, “Were all the panels there?”

“Well sir, I must shoot straight with you,” I said, “of the eighteen panels that were supposed to be in that parachute, I had fifteen good ones. Three were torn, but it wasn’t your fault, it was mine. I jumped out of that jet fighter at a high rate of speed, close to the ground. That’s what tore the panels in the chute. It wasn’t the way you packed it.”

“Let me ask you a question,” I said, “do you keep track of all the parachutes you pack?”

“No” he responded, “it’s enough gratification for me just to know that I’ve served.”

I didn’t get much sleep that night. I kept thinking about that man. I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform – a Dixie cup hat, a bib in the back and bell bottom trousers. I wondered how many times I might have passed him on board the Kitty Hawk. I wondered how many times I might have seen him and not even said “good morning”, “how are you”, or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor. How many hours did he spend on that long wooden table in the bowels of that ship weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of those chutes? I could have cared less…until one day my parachute came along and he packed it for me.

So the philosophical question here is this: How’s your parachute packing coming along? Who looks to you for strength in times of need? And perhaps, more importantly, who are the special people in your life who provide you the encouragement you need when the chips are down? Perhaps it’s time right now to give those people a call and thank them for packing your chute.

from http://www.charlieplumb.com/book-insights.htm




Filed under Leadership

Cheer the Team onto Increased Productivity

In a world where we have so much to work can all be a grind with little or no relief for the team.  This will wreck your team’s productivity, engagement and quality of work.  The harder the push is to get things done, the more important it is to step back once in a while and relax.  As a team leader part of your role is to be a cheerleader who encourages the team.  Short, fun team times can really help re-energize everyone and make it easier to get through all the stuff ahead.  It also will help each person feel appreciated and that their sacrifices are recognized.

So with all the deadlines looming, how do you find the time to stop and smell the roses?  It can be very easy and cost effective to make a little fun time for the team.  Keep in mind it should be voluntary to attend and if everyone is working long hours stay away from making time after work hours.  Another disclaimer, make sure what you choose is in line with your companies culture.  So here are a few suggestions to help de-stress and have a little fun:

  1. Buy lunch for the team and keep work out of the room for 30 minutes.  Get pizza and salads delivered, spring for soda and water.  Lead the conversation about funny things that have happened to you.  Keep the stories appropriate and free from HR land mines.  Laughing at yourself will help the team relax and learn more about you.
  2. Have breakfast brought in before a team meeting.  Enjoy some coffee, donuts / bagels, and fresh fruit along with some light conversation about non-project topics.  Taking 15 minutes to get everyone fueled up will help get things going later.  Make sure you manage the time without seeming to rush the coffee break.
  3. Have an afternoon break where everyone gets 15 minutes or so to have a snack and unwind before the end of the day push.
  4. Celebrate office birthdays once a month.  Gather everyone in a conference room mid-afternoon and enjoy a short break and some cake.  Recognize everyone who has a birthday that month. 
  5. Take 15 minutes or less each week to recognize the progress that has been made so far.  Make it an upbeat pep talk that focuses on how far you’ve come and that you will get through the tough days.

Most people are willing to work harder than they expected to if they feel appreciated.  When we slave away and all we hear is that there is more to be done there is little motivation to keep at it.  Have a little fun once in a while, recognize the hard work and provide pep talks to keep spirits up.  You will find that your mindset improves as does your teams.

What things have you done to keep your team energized during the tough times?

Photo from iStockPhoto.com


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Filed under Leadership, Team Building, Time Management

Going Home Again

Several years ago I was at another factory within the company for a meeting.  As I walked down a hall on a break I saw their factory manager coming towards me.  I had known him somewhat propbably five years earlier.  He called me by name and asked if I remembered him.  Needless to say I was stunned that he recalled me and that he took the time to stop and say hi to me.  My opinion of his leadership went way up.

At times the world is a very small place and you may cross paths with people from your past.  When this happens do you cringe because you left things a little raw or are you excited to reconnect with friends you haven’t seen in a while?  Hopefully, you are in the second group.  However, there are times when you have to face people you never thought to see again.  Here are some tips for what to do when your past comes back to meet you.

  • Embrace the opportunity to see people you once knew and worked with on a daily basis.  You’ve moved on to a better place and you can reflect on the things that got you to where you are today.
  • Smile!  If you appear to be happy to see folks again they will see it and it will help them be happy to see you again.
  • Be interested in what’s new with them.  People want to know they matter to others so make them matter.
  • Stay away from gloating about the great things that have happened since you moved on.  The people you are with may not have had the same good luck. 

The best way to make it easier to revisit people from the past in new situations is to leave under the best possible conditions.  Keep from burning bridges by leaving gracefully.  This can be done by doing a few simple things.

  1. Focus on the future opportunities.  When asked about why you are leaving you need to focus on the new opportunities that await you.
  2. Avoid bad mouthing.  If you may cross paths with the people you currently work with then you should not say negative things about the people or the company you are leaving.  You never know when the words you say will come back to you.
  3. Be courteous to everyone.  Whether you are leaving for a better opportunity or to pursue a dream be nice as you depart.  Treat people the way you want to be treated if you were being left behind. 
  4. Finish what you can.  Complete everything you can to leave a clean slate for however will get to cover your responsibilities when you leave. 

If you leave well then you really can come home again.  You can never predict when you may cross paths with your past, so make the effort to leave positive impression on those you leave behind. 

If you left under circumstances beyond your control, then when you meet again, be positive and kind.  Even when the way you were treated badly, it is so nice to know you can be better to them than they were to you.  Let any discomfort be due to their actions not yours.  Taking the high road will lead you to the next better place.

Going back to places and people you’ve known in the past can be fun and enjoyable when you decide to make it a positive experience.  If you do it well people will think even more highly of you now that you are gone, because you have class.


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Filed under Change Management, Leadership

Nominated for One Lovely Blog Award!

I have to thank Thea at http://organizedlivingessentials.com/ for nominating me for this award.  I appreciate the recognition from someone whose blog I find so enlightening.  I’m new to this blogging world and am humbled by the recognition.  The rules of the award are:

  1. Reveal 7 things about yourself
  2. Identify blogs that have captured your interest

So here are seven things about me:

  1. Career – my career has been eclectic at best.  I started my professional life as a chemical engineer, went into purchasing, then switched into training and development, spent a couple of years in quality assurance and now am working as a consultant back in training and knowledge management.
  2. Accomplishment – one of the things I am most proud of is that my oldest son is graduating high school this year with honors.  This is after a rocky start to high school.  I am so glad he was able to learn how to focus his abilities to reach this point.
  3. Dream – my dream right now is to be able to retire in the next 10 years and be able to spend more time with my husband traveling the world.
  4. Hobby – I love photography and am looking forward to finding more opportunities to pursue this.  I am exploring how I can share some of my favorite photos with a wider audience (right now just my family).
  5. Secret Skill – unknown to most people I enjoy sewing, particularly items for around the house, such as curtains, pillows, comforters, etc.  Another thing I have not made time for in the last few years as I focused on family.
  6. Regret – I have very few regrets in my life, however I regret that my kids did not have a chance to know my parents since my father died when I was only 18 and my mother joined him when my oldest son was not quite 2.  My boys are amazing young men who would have been the apples of my parents’ eyes and would have enjoyed knowing their grandparents.
  7. Favorite Place – I have been fortunate enough to see 46 of the 50 states and have loved many places and yet I have really fallen for Zion National Park in southwestern Utah.  It is a beautiful, peaceful escape from the busy world.  Sadly I will be moving away from this area so I am looking forward to finding a new favorite escape the chaos called my daily life.

Here is a list of some of my favorite blogs.  I enjoy reading these and they have inspired me as I have started my blogging efforts.

http://organizedlivingessentials.com/,  Thea always has interesting ideas on how to make your life simpler and more organized.

http://theorganizedexecutiveblog.com/.  The posts here always get me thinking about management and leading others.

http://sellleadsucceed.com/  Tim Mushey’s insights into sales and motivation are enlightening for any part of business.

http://spilledcookies.com/.  I have appreciated Cherry’s look at life and the inspirational quotes she posts.

I am truly humbled by this nomination.



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