#4. “I look for opportunities to catch people doing good things! This week I will catch someone doing something right and provide them with intentionally positive feedback.
Each week I’m reporting here on my personal experience in implementing my 52 Intentional Affirmations. These are designed to help us be more intentionally mindful of the impact our intentions have on living a happy, flourishing and prosperous life. (Click Here to start work on your own 52 Intentional Affirmations).
Way back in the early eighties, I was given a gift copy of The One Minute Manager by Hersey & Blanchard. One of the key principles of the book is to ‘help people reach their full potential – catch them doing something right’.
It’s so easy to mindlessly go through each day and not recognise the contribution others are making that either directly or indirectly impact your sense of well-being and your capacity to live a more happy, flourishing and prosperous life.
While last week my intentional focus was on thanking people, this week as I was constantly reminded to catch people doing good things, the big difference was for me was being specific in my feedback – not only to thank them, but to give meaningful feedback.
What’s really interesting when you mindfully, intentionally and genuinely catch people doing good things, and provide meaningful feedback to them that is not trite, contrived or confusing, you can physically tell by their instinctive body language (in most cases) the sense of pleasure and pride that they feel.
Here are just two simple examples from this week.
1. From ‘floor-drobe’ to wardrobe:
Our eldest son doesn’t get the ‘tidy room’ concept. His “Floor-drobe” approach seems to work for him. For some reason, not sure why, but this week he decided to move his clothes from the floor-drobe to his wardrobe and tidy his room. Now to be honest, I’d been nagging him for a long time to do it, and it would have been easy to say “about time!”, but what would that achieve?
So I just let him know that I noticed, didn’t make it a big deal, but let him know how much I really did appreciate it. The smile, and hug I received were well worth the simple effort of catching him doing something good.
2. A ‘given’ task recognition
Another example was providing positive feedback to one of my clients (Jaimie) who has been organising a series of workshops with me to deliver to their emerging advice specialists. Now, it’s Jaimie’s expected role, a ‘given’ task for her to do all of the logistics so that the program runs smoothly, but I made sure I let Jaimie know how professional her approach is, and more importantly, how much I appreciated all the work she did before I arrived to run the programs.
Once again, the smile, (I didn’t get a hug) and obvious pride she felt in receiving this small piece of genuine feedback was a gift for me.
An unexpected positive gift
As I started to write this post, reflecting on my week intentionally applying this affirmation of catching people doing good, I realised that all of my examples were fairly insignificant events… but then I realised that most of our days are full of insignificant events that can so easily go unnoticed.
And this has been my big take-away for this week. Our days are full of insignificant events, but when we mindfully and intentionally focus on discovering reasons to thank people, or reasons to provide positive and genuine feedback for them doing good things (no matter how small they might be), the insignificant moments of our lives can become just that little bit more significant… and for me, that’s been an unexpected positive gift.
Next week’s intentional affirmation is “I have an extra mile philosophy – this week I will intentionally doing something positive for someone who doesn’t expect it.”