Talents worthy of recognition

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.

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  1. Amy Pfeil on June 21, 2011 at 8:17 am

    I know from being a therapist that recognition and acknowledgment of a person and his or her strengths can do wonders. Without them, no therapy occurs! It sounds so simple, many parents and pet owners (!) know this automatically, it seems. But for those children and pets who don’t receive them, life never seems right. How is it that so many of us forget to apply them? When, when we receive them, we know the better side of everything, including ourselves. Anyway, thank you, Robin!

    • PeopleSense Consulting LLC on June 21, 2011 at 10:50 pm

      Amy, it does seem that it’s easy to forget the power of the saying thanks. I appreciate your adding your perspective — and I especially like your thought about how it helps us understand ourselves better. It’s true, whenever we get feedback, it helps us see ourselves in a way we might not see it otherwise. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

  2. didiwright on June 21, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Hi, Robin. Thank you for the lovely words about me, George and our blog, much appreciated. As you already know, I’m very happy that you consider me your friend and feel the same way about you 🙂
    I love the opening of this post, it states such an important truth. Ok, maybe we don’t ‘have to’ say thank you for something that falls under a person’s obligations, but it doesn’t cost anything if we do, it’s not painful, and could make a world of difference. As you say, we all love a bit of recognition, so why not show it to others when they deserve it?
    I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the award. Your blog is one of the few which make me think, wonder and question not only the world around me, but my own actions and habits. So yeah, you’d make my shortlist anytime 😉

    P.S. If another award comes along at some point, do you promise to share a few things about yourself? Nosey, I know, but I can’t help it 😛

    • PeopleSense Consulting LLC on June 21, 2011 at 10:55 pm

      I so appreciate your thoughts, Didi, as always. I don’t consider you nosey, just very thoughtful. Thanks for asking. One thing I will share now about myself is that I wish I had much more time for blog-reading. I know there are several more of your readers that I’d love to check out more frequently — just need much more time in the day. And so many others, too. There were a couple today on the Freshly Pressed page that I wanted to check out and hope to do so.

      • didiwright on June 22, 2011 at 8:54 am

        Me too. I only read a few blogs every day, and I even struggle with that. Sometimes I wish there were more hours in a day, so that I can do everything I’d like to do (which includes a lot of blog reading). But hey, there’s nothing I can do about that, I’ll just have to wait for quieter times (old age, probably).

  3. Mind of a Beginner on June 21, 2011 at 9:14 am

    Thanks so much, Robin, for mentioning our blog and website. Like you, we always try to make our points with storytelling, care and compassion, a combination we believe speaks to both hearts and minds.

    • PeopleSense Consulting LLC on June 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm

      Well deserved! You both are a fabulous team and any organization would benefit from your expertise.

  4. Deb on June 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Hi Robin,
    Congratulations on your blog award! I have the double good luck of enjoying your posts, and knowing you in person. Your genuine and gentle good sense shines through, and Grace is just such an adorable stand-in for employees who are generally loveable, but sometimes exasperating. I always feel my patience and sense of humor restored by your essays. As for the attitude of “why do I have to say thank you” I just wonder: is it really so hard? It takes longer to say “pass the salt” than it does to say “thank you”…so maybe we could challenge ourselves to express gratitude early and often.

    • Michael Charney on June 21, 2011 at 10:29 am

      Deb: I love that line– “It takes longer to say ‘pass the salt’ than it does to say ‘thank you’.”

    • PeopleSense Consulting LLC on June 21, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      Your words bring such a smile to my face, thank you, Deb. I also agree with Michael — what a great line about passing the salt. You have a wonderful way with words and people. Honored to know you, too.

  5. lifewith4cats on June 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    That is the nicest thing ever to say! I am humbled. Realy? I didnt know my blog showed that! You are such a dear!. 🙂

    p.s. your wish might be granted sooner than you think Didi. 🙂 I havent given awards yet. 🙂

    • PeopleSense Consulting LLC on June 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      I believe your blog reflects a real, honest, true, person and I really admire that. Uh-oh, seems you and Didi have me. You know I can’t say no to you both.

      • didiwright on June 22, 2011 at 8:57 am

        😀 I sense a little coalition of girl power forming here 🙂

    • didiwright on June 22, 2011 at 8:56 am

      Oh, no…:P They do say be careful what you wish for, don’t they? 😉

  6. The Organic Hound Co. on July 11, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    What a wonderful post! And so true. Thank you for mentioning our blog and company, Robin. We enjoy reading your daily insights about Grace and just how much she teaches us about the world around us. We can’t wait to meet her!

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