Celebrating is Positive

No, not the ‘let’s get drunk & screw’ kind of celebration. I leave that to the frat boys. Nope, I’m all about small, everyday, random gestures of support. Neat little nuggets of “yay!” that tell someone that you see them, appreciate them, and value them for who they are. And, of course, genuine, overt, public acknowledgment of achievements are awesome.

“Praise publicly, correct privately” is a maxim that’s been drilled into my head by parents, teachers, preachers, managers and mentors all my life. And I’m a believer in the positive benefits of this practice. People respond, rise to the challenge of expectation, when praise earned flows freely.

But shaming and humiliation have never been effective tools for motivating or managing my behavior or compliance. In fact, embarrassing me in front of my friends or colleagues is the quickest way to get me to shut down the reasoning part of my brain, dig in my heels, and be “as ornery as a left footed mule” (thanks, Gran!).

Thus, I view appreciation as one of the most positive things in life.

Today I had the chance to participate in a lovely and moving awards ceremony for a colleague, celebrating his nearly 3 decades of leadership and contribution to my company. Then, tonight I celebrated another work friend’s retirement, before hosting all my direct reports in a dinner celebrating their many and significant 2012 achievements.

So many warm fuzzies, I’m beside myself! I love seeing good people rewarded.


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