It’s been said that the most effective form of motivation is recognition. It is all too often in our corporate world that employees feel underappreciated. Sometimes I hear from a manager, “Well, that’s their job. Do I have to say thank you for things that are expected out of them?”
Grace is the perfect reminder. Any good dog trainer will tell you that positive reinforcement is the best way to teach a dog. Because of Grace’s sensitive and nervous nature, it is especially true. A vet once told me, “Catch her doing something right and prevent her from doing something wrong.”
We all know it feels good to get a simple ‘thank you’ but it’s also an effective way to give feedback. What better way to encourage continued behavior by being clear about what you like. Blogging offers the ideal forum to provide that feedback—leaving comments on a blog post is a quick and informal way to share an idea or question. I love it when people comment and it’s the same for employees who crave feedback (but don’t always receive it).
It is particularly gratifying when you’ve worked hard at something – even if it’s something you do as part of your job—when someone shows their appreciation. And that’s what I experienced this past week when a fellow blogging buddy from England selected Graceful Leadership as a recipient of the Versatile Blogger’s Award.
I couldn’t find the origins of the Versatile Blogger’s Award, nor the criteria for receiving it. Given the name, one would assume you need to be versatile. But it seems that it’s more about one blogger being able to give a public shout out to a blogger that they appreciate. If you receive this award, you’re asked to nominate 15 other blogs and tell seven facts about yourself. That seems somewhat arbitrary to me, so I’m going to bend the rules a bit. (Hey, what better way to be versatile, right?) I’d like to tell you about a few blogs, without focusing on the exact number. These bloggers are very different, but they have one thing in common: they understand the importance of recognition and feedback.
When I started this blog about four months ago, I had no idea of the amazing connections I would make, nor the wealth of information I would find. I read a lot of blogs and now subscribe to 21 blogs (I only know that because I counted them as a result of getting this award), and I am constantly entertained, educated, and enthralled by the talents of people who put their energy into sharing their experiences.
All the blogs I read reflect my personal and professional interests: dogs, animals, healthcare, patient safety, marketing, organizational development and coaching, food, knitting, and photography (I love beautiful images, especially landscapes and people; I have no talents as a photographer myself). Many are intended to be solely educational, others are entertaining, and some are both.
One of the first blogs I found [via Twitter] was my little dog, written by a witty whippet owner, Didi. Tales of this regal and beautiful whippet, George, are humorous and intelligent and Didi has a real knack for connecting with people through her astute observations. George and Grace have lots of the same behavioral tendencies and this strengthens our bond. Didi was the one who bestowed the Versatile Blogger Award upon me and Grace; it’s not surprising given that I’ve come to feel like she’s a very good friend, despite separated by thousands of miles and having never met.
I’ve found scores of other blogs from numerous sources; some are fans of Didi and George, too. Sara who writes about lifewith4cats, is incredibly entertaining, but the thing that strikes me the most is her honesty. Her authentic person shines in her blog, and I really admire that. Pictures, especially of animals and nature are compelling to me, but at Spiderpaw, Lionel’s stories enrich his artistry.
There a few other dog-related blogs in my repertoire. Live, Bark, Love is written by a recent college grad (a fellow Hokie but I discovered we both went to Virginia Tech after becoming hooked on her blog about her four lovable dogs) and The Organic Hound, a company founded by women devoted to healthy living for dogs.
Last, but not least, are two other blogs: one on food and one about organizational development. If you decide to check them out, you’ll see their expertise coming through in their respective subject. Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide offers simple recipes for the most amazing dishes. There are lots of things that I prefer to do more than cooking, but this blog can’t help but whet your appetite. Charney Coaching and Consulting is a trusted source for organizational development topics.
These particular blogs stand out because the authors have passion and competence for their topics, but they also understand the value of building relationships. I know if I met them in a workplace, they would be the type of leader who offered frequent, constructive feedback. That’s worthy of recognition.