First a quote, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Mark Twain
And a three part assignment for you to complete this week:
1. Identify any four of the most important people in your life; preferably two from your personal life and two from your professional life. From your personal life, they could be a parent, spouse, child, relative, friend, neighbor, or someone from your place of worship or bowling league. From your professional life, consider your manager, co-workers, direct reports or someone from a service department… IT, distribution, shop floor or the mailroom… those people we take for granted but would sure be missed if they were gone tomorrow.
2. Now, visualize each of those four people and make a list of at least three things you appreciate about each of them. Be specific. Be descriptive. No generalities. No platitudes.
3. By Friday of this week, share one appreciation with each of those four people, preferably in person and face-to-face. If you can’t share an appreciation in person, then do it with an old-fashioned, handwritten note. No emails, no voicemails. Do that and nothing else. No “buts”, no additional assignments, no “do it differently next time”… just sincere appreciation. That’s it.
Far too often, we assume the most important people in our lives know they are loved and or appreciated by us. And yet, far too often our most frequent communication is critical in nature. We tell ourselves the feedback is intended to be constructive and helpful. Worse yet, we assume those people know and appreciate our helpful intentions. And, while our intentions may indeed be genuinely helpful, the actual impact of our good intentions may actually result in unintended negative consequences. The people we lead and love may actually assume, and feel, the opposite of what we intend; underappreciated, unloved or both.
Leaders understand their positive intentions are not enough. Leadership is about having a positive impact. What impact are you having on, and with, the most important people in all aspects of your life? Do not assume intentions = impact. You will be far more successful if you assume the opposite (Intentions ≠ Impact) and build your communication accordingly. Communicate your appreciation of people more intentionally.
I leave you with a couple questions to ponder during this coming week: In terms of relationships with the most important people in your life, what is your vision for those relationships? What would those relationships look like if they were perfect? What actions will you take this week that will be positively impactful on those relationships? Who will you appreciate differently, and more intentionally, starting today?
Have a great week!!
“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”