First things first: I got one of the jobs I was interviewing for over the past couple weeks. I'll be working for a marketing agency in a neighboring city doing some writing and editing and assisting the owner the of the agency. I'm really excited about it but also really nervous. I think I'll get a lot from this position and from the direction my career could go from here.
In other news: Ah yes, another worm-in-horseradish moment. Lately, I've been thinking about how important recognition is, and then I read an article on LinkedIn about ways to motivate employees. At the top of the list? Praise. Recognition.
Understanding that people value relationships and recognition over objective assessments of our work can help us get more from our professional and personal experiences. Some say you shouldn't care what others think of you, but have you ever noticed that people only say that when you've been criticized? No one says you should ignore praise. Generally, if we feel that we are recognized, we'll try harder. Recognition can bring out the best in us because it helps us see that what we're doing is meaningful.
Knowing this, then, it's important for us to recognize and praise people we encounter. As tempting as it is to criticize in hopes that the other person will be shamed into changing their actions, it rarely works that way. Imagine this: Someone tells you that you have a great smile. Wouldn't that make you smile more? Maybe it would even get you to brush and floss a little more. Now imagine someone tells you that you don't smile enough or you should take better care of your teeth. How motivational is that?
The added benefit of praising the people in your life is that it's likely to be reciprocated. I'm not suggesting that you be insincere in your praise just so people will like you, but if you'd like to be recognized more for your accomplishments then start by looking at what you can do. Are you doing anything particularly praiseworthy? Have you made yourself approachable by talking positively about others' accomplishments?
The goal is to create professional and personal relationships in which mutual recognition is the norm.