Monday, May 14, 2007

Graduation is in the air... and the set up begins...

It is the month of graduations for high and college and the month in which we begin the set up of these poor graduates for a life of expectations of such celebration for each milestone in their life going forward.

Graduation is fun! The cords, the gowns, the hats, the family and the fanfair. It is all fun and yet, it sends the message that the rest of life is going to be filled with such celebration. Do we wonder why when these folks join the work force that they become disspointed at the lack of reward and recognition that occurs at both minor and major milestones?

If we consider the fact that we bring in family and friends to celebrate years of book learning as if this is the pinnacle of one's life at the ripe old age of 18 or 21, what do we do when one of these young ones achieves the learning of life that doesn't come from a book? When one learns about true diversity, what do we do? When one learns about communication or emotional intelligence, what do we do? When one learns true confidence and belief in oneself no matter what, what do we do? When one learns what being a partner is about, what do we do? When one learns that parenting is a gift of experience and commitment, what do we do? When one learns that the world does not in fact rotate around oneself, what do we do?

I am not suggesting that we diminish the graduation celebrations at all. I am merely hoping that we realize the stage we are setting and the challenges this could create further down the road for comparitive milestones that are celebrated in less than grand fashion. I mean really, do they call your name in front of all you know and give you more than a tie tack when you have worked somewhere and contributed half your life for twenty years? Likely not.

Until we have the privilege of meeting in person...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

It Takes Confidence to Take a Compliment

It happened... the project went wonderfully well and it took the entire team to make it happen. Then during the staff meeting your boss singles you out and says "You really did a great job! Let's all give (YOU) a hand for the wonderful work on completing this recent project!"

There is light hearted applause and a few looks and you realize immediately that yes, it feels good to hear the words, but you didn't do it all by yourself. Do you say something or do you bask in the glory?

Well, that depends. How much confidence do you have? Do you really need to bask in all that glory and fill your cup of approval or can you confidently turn the spotlight to the others who helped you. My hope is that the latter is true. Try saying something like this:
"I'm delighted that you noticed the extra effot, and I really must share your compliment with the others on the team who helped me to achieve this. Let's all give ourselves a round of applause (or high five or pat on the back or whatever suits your fancy).

It takes confidence to accept a compliment, but also to realize that it rarely is all about you and the work you did. Someone likely helped you get there or learned what you know to get where you've gotten.

Until we have the pleasure to meet in person...