The Green Sheet Online Edition
August 24, 2009 • Issue 09:08:02
Reflect that glory
||He gives twice who gives quickly.|
– Italian proverb
One goal for most ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs), aside from closing merchant accounts and generating revenue streams, is being acknowledged for their triumphs and successes. And while it is gratifying to receive validation for quality performance and career milestones, it is equally important - if not more so - to share the limelight with others.
When actors win awards or athletes receive accolades, the wise ones thank their colleagues and recognize they wouldn't be receiving honors without the help of the people supporting them. Making a point to recognize those who have helped you succeed is no less important for you, as ISOs and MLSs.
After all, values in action such as practicing the golden rule, committing random acts of kindness and recognizing the good in people are the common threads that give us our sense of humanity.
Effective leadership demands humility, as well as the ability to delegate authority and turn to others for wise counsel and expertise. Shifting the spotlight to colleagues or staff can empower future leaders in ways no other strategy can.
It is human nature to feel encouraged when a superior appreciates a job well done, whether the kudos come verbally or in writing. It is imperative to look for the best in others without regard to status or role. Doing so is not only a tremendous motivator, but it also helps reinforce desired outcomes.
People, for the most part, just want to know that others care about them, that their efforts have meaning and purpose. Focusing on the strengths of colleagues instead of dwelling on their flaws contributes to conviviality and balance in the workplace. It also fosters a sense of accomplishment in those being appreciated while revealing a side of a manager or colleague that might not otherwise come to light.
Conversely, there is no quicker way to deflate motivation and ruin that "we're all in it together" spirit than for a superior to take credit for something an employee or colleague does.
There are many ways to acknowledge a job well done. Some employees are comfortable with public pronouncements; others prefer private communication. Tailor reinforcement to each individual. A person's ability to receive praise is as distinct as one's learning style and personalty. It is also important to remember that commending someone should be done in a timely, specific and personal way.
So, take the time to witness and applaud someone else's achievements as they happen - in real time. This will not be practical in all situations, but when circumstances permit, it shows you are paying attention and that you are genuinely interested.
Here are some other ideas on how to effectively deliver praise:
- Give everyone a chance to pass along positive thoughts at department or company meetings.
- Keep a kind of revolving trophy that moves from project to project and employee to employee, something that is visible as a token of success and achievement and is kept until someone else's performance is "trophy worthy."
- Recognize contributions or achievements tangibly: Gift certificates, movie passes or complementary time off are just a few ways to do this.
- Say thank you when it is least expected. It gives staff an incentive to keep pushing ahead without being pushed. And you might be surprised how far these two little words can influence those you depend on to meet your organization's goals.
- Acknowledge all group members, not just project leaders or senior employees. Superiors were once underlings who needed the support that helped them get to the position they are in today.
Light the way
Remember, no company can thrive without building harmony and instilling self-worth among its staff. And it takes infinitely less energy to let others know they are important than to seek recognition for your own accomplishments. To give without counting the cost and to put others first can lead to a greater sense of satisfaction than anything you might achieve for yourself individually.
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