A relation of mine and I had a blow up recently. The two of us, normally rational adults who get along just fine – were at odds. It was awful, uncomfortable and sad. He was upset and I was crying. For over an hour we dumped our issues on the table and tried to sort them out with little success.
From different provinces, it is rare to literally be sitting across the table together and so to process things after the fact, in our own spaces was necessary.
As I reflected upon our conversation, the situation and the emotions that were going wild (mostly mine), I thought about the intent of our conversations and especially about the difficult situation that preceded it.
It was never either of our intentions to hurt, disappoint or upset the other person. Yet that is what transpired for both of us. Hurt. Disappointment. Upset. And we could have left it at that; take a relationship that was strong and let it die. We could pretend it never happened. Or we can deal with it.
At the end of the day, maybe it doesn’t really matter what we understand and what we don’t. What we agree with and what we don’t. There isn’t always a right or a wrong, just varied perspectives.
What I decided that I want to do it just love. Love not because someone makes me happy or supports me or is related to me or does what I think they ‘should’ do. Just love. Period. Love.
As this next decade unfolds that is my goal, to just love.
So I penned a letter to him. Part apology, part explanation and a request to join me on this quest to go forward, to remember what matters. People matter. Relationships matter. Family matters.
I hope we can put this incident behind us and just love.
Just love, it’s one more way you can live Your Life, Unlimited.
I recently had a wonderful chat with Kim Standeven and Sarah McVanel-Viney, check out the podcast below! In addition, both have provided us with an enlightening article to share with you. Give them a read below!
9 “Juicy” Workplace Recognize Questions
When we embrace FROG – Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness – some “juicy” questions arise. Let me share a few of them, and hopefully you will see, recognition is not another task on your already long ‘to do’ list, but a way of being.
1. How can I recognize people when I have no budget?
Many leaders struggle to find ways to recognize people on limited budgets, and always dipping in to their own pocket can start to add up. In previous posts I’ve listed almost a hundred different ways to recognize people. Most of them are free. Giving of a minute of two of your time – through private words of praise or a thank-you note – is often considered more valuable than a nominal gift of recognition.
2. How can I fairly recognize people?
Sometimes people worry about being perceived as playing favourites. Remember, if your intention is solid, you’re on the right track. You can’t control how people perceive a gesture, but you can control the motivation behind it. If you endeavour to “catch people in greatness,” you’ll end up recognizing a range of people because you’ll notice the variety of greatness all around you.
We think it’s also important to keep in mind that recognition is everyone’s job, not just the leader’s. Professionals should be self-aware and self-reflective enough to recognize when they are surpassing their skills and abilities and should acknowledge the greatness of their peers. In other words, the role of the leader is to foster a recognition culture. If it’s not just down to you, then recognition becomes more sustainable and self-reinforcing. It becomes less about who and how you recognize people and more about how you enable people to honour their own greatness and that of their peers.
Trust the team will be able to catch those moments of greatness. After all, they’re with one another way more hours than you as a leader are. Wouldn’t it be cool if it became your job to acknowledge the recognition happening among team members? The question of fairness would begin to disappear if people felt they were being recognized by their peers and that you valued this.
3. How do I recognize people who are not performing well?
Everyone does something that is their form of greatness. We’re not saying it’s always obvious or even easy to find, but often it is tied to something the individual values most. As soon as you begin noticing what the person is doing right vs. pointing out what is wrong, he or she will be more motivated to do things that fit expectations. Sometimes we need to look deep to find something we respect and value in the other person. This will help in establishing trust. Once trust is built, it’s much easier to ask people what they feel they excel at and what they would like to improve.
4. Why do I need to recognize people – isn’t getting a pay cheque enough?
As we discussed right at the beginning of this book, people vote with their feet when they don’t feel valued, and in the talent shortage of today, we just can’t afford for that to happen. Like it or not, a bigger motivator for people than money is recognition. Why? People are human beings, and it’s the humanity of recognition that connects them to one another and their organization. More and more, people want to belong to something. Work can feel like a community or a jail sentence (or something in between). In which scenario are you likely get the best from people: when they feel they can contribute with purpose or when they show up out of obligation?
5. I don’t get recognized. Why should I recognize others?
The surest way to be recognized is to recognize the greatness in others. It’s pretty hard for us to be annoyed, angry, or apathetic with someone who sees our talents, passions, and virtues, expresses an appreciation for them, and finds ways to draw them out of us. How are you focused on self-recognition? If you’re grounded in your own greatness and have found ways to live it in meaningful ways, others’ recognition of you naturally becomes less important. It is ironic, isn’t it?
6. I’ve tried recognizing people and they don’t appreciate it. Why bother?
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a team’s ecosystem destroyed in one. It takes seven years to build a culture, and every day we take small steps forward. Focus on the steps, on the small markers of progress along the way, and celebrate them. We suspect you’ll be better able to see the small examples of where recognition is happening rather than attending to all the evidence it is not present. While you’re at it, do a self-recognition check-in. Have you recognized yourself lately? Turn recognition inwards. You always have control over that!
7. I have only so much time in my day. How do I balance recognition along with all the other things I need to do?
In its simplest form, recognizing greatness happens in the moment. Come to work prepared to recognize greatness when you see it. I carry little squishy frogs, frog charms, and recognition cards in my purse. That way I can recognize someone in the moment as soon as I witness it. What is your easy and quick method?
Agreed, you don’t have time to plan a huge celebration every day or go shopping for the perfect gift. Good thing that’s not how employees most want to be recognized, isn’t it?
8. Is recognition just the leader’s job?
Glad you asked! While people say they most want to be recognized by their direct supervisor, the strongest cultures I have witnessed are those where everyone sees it as their role to recognize greatness – in clients, colleagues, subordinates, superiors – in creative and personal ways every day. How would you feel most energized at the end of the day, if your boss shared specifically how she thought you did a good job or a client, colleague, or work friend shared how much they valued your greatness? Maybe you would say both (we don’t blame you).
9. Should I recognize people when it’s not valued in my organization?
Haven’t some of the most powerful and transformational changes happened in this world at a grassroots level? Why not start where you have control – with those you work with, interact with, and care about – and see where it takes you? Recognition feeds souls, yours included. And anyway, if you face backlash for recognizing greatness, do you really want to work there? Living your greatness is how you will live with purpose and passion. Don’t give your power over to any force willing to stifle it. Be yourself. Be great.
Tips to living aligned with who you are
I think one of the things that bonds us as humans is that we all experience some kind of personal struggle in our life. Mine was grief and there was a time in my life that I got lost in it. I wrote about my experience in my book “Stand Even” because I wanted to give people hope that from unimaginable grief can come immeasurable inspiration and peace.
For nearly 20 years, I have immersed myself in the study of personal development, leadership and coaching. I work as a Core Alignment Coach where I offer people a place to explore what it means to live authentically and true to the core of who they are. This is what I did to heal my heart and my hope is that I can help others heal and live an empowered life.
Here are 5 tips to living aligned with who you are:
- Make a choice. You have a choice when you wake up each day on how you see the world and how you react to your experiences. Ask yourself – How do I want to feel today? Am I living in alignment with who I am?
- Get Clear. The number one way to move forward in a positive way is to get clear on the life you want to create and who you want to be. Without a clear vision of what living authentically means you’ll just wander aimlessly.
- Create support structures. We need a structure to keep us on track. For example, a structure could be as simple as meeting with a coach every month or a community of like-minded people. You have to build structures around you to keep the momentum and stay aligned with what matters to you.
- Retrain your brain. You need to work out your brain by focussing on specific thought patterns. The same way we work on our muscles, we need to work on strengthening the new neuro-pathways we are creating. Our thoughts create our reality and we need to work on staying aligned every day.
- Define your core. Figure out what it means to be who you are at your core because when you make decisions from an authentic place you will always be on the right path.
If I could offer you one piece of advice in your journey of aligning with your true self is to take the time to explore and reflect. Invest in yourself, take the time and give yourself the gift of clarity.
Stephanie Staples, CSP* is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success, an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, and the recipient of the 2014 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur Award for Contributions to Community. Stephanie empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home. You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at Your Life Unlimited.
* Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), conferred by the National Speakers Association is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform proficiency. Less than 10 percent of speakers have earned this credential and are recognized as some of the best in their fields. Stephanie was one of only five professional speakers in Canada (and the only woman) to attain this designation in 2013.