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  • in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #8291

    Hello again all!  I’d like to share an experience I had over the weekend with you.  It’s one of those random acts of acknowledgement!

    In America, as I suspect it is in other countries, many people you pass by on the street are former members of the military.  They could be recently discharged, retirees, or even active duty.  Most you wouldn’t recognize and veterans, but some wear their pride on their sleeves, and in the hats.Being a retired vet myself, I do my best to recognize the vets on the street, in the stores and thank them for their service to the nation.  I used to just say thank you for your service, but I now do much more.

    This one particular gentleman was wearing his Vietnam Veteran hat with much pride.  I just had to step out of my way to speak to him.  I asked him where he served and under what capacity.  He seemed a bit surprised by my interest, but had no problem sharing his past navy experiences.  We spoke in the parking lot for about 15 minutes.  Nothing extraordinary, just what he did, what I did, some quick sea stories, and a couple of hand shakes and we parted.  I found out that he wanted to go into submarines but landed on an aircraft carrier.  I shared that I wanted to go into aviation electronics as a sub hunter, and ended up working in submarines.  We both had equal and opposite experiences!  A few more stories and we went our separate ways, both with big smiles.

    I bring this up because there are so many people on the street; ordinary people who have done extraordinary things in their lives for the purpose to serve their country and fellow citizens.  They deserve recognition of any kind or any level, even a simple hand shake a story sharing.  And for those like me who want to improve their skills in employing the 5C’s, military veterans provide a vast resource to practice on.  They will all smile and appreciate your words.


    Have a great week.

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #8287

    Hello all, and as a person who defended the US and its laws, I want to say Happy Birthday to the US Constitution which turns 228 on Sunday, September 17th.

    Today I would like to share a quick acknowledgement I received, that was interesting to me, and very appreciated.  I have been very big on safety of equipment and personnel for my entire working career; through the Navy, at the Hanford, WA nuclear cleanup site and at work here.  We have a form here that is used to walk down working spaces to find safety issues such as slip/trip hazards, all the way to deranged equipment, called a “Take 5”.  It’s simple and easy to complete.  During our morning management team meeting yesterday, one flow manager needed to get more forms for her team.  In attendance we have the Safety Manager and Safety Coordinator, both of who are familiar with the form and could get additional forms for the flow manager.  But in the meeting, the flow manager called on me to get the forms.  From across the room I hear, “Good morning Tom!” to which I responded in like.  “Hey, do you know where I can get more Take 5 forms for my people?”  Of course I gave her the information, and the safety team chimed in as well.  But I instantly recognized that I had just been acknowledged for the efforts towards safety at our facility.  Even though the safety management folks were in attendance, she called on me in public to get the forms.  She was conscious of the fact that I could help her fill the need.  She chose to ask me instead of the safety team; not because they didn’t know, but because she knew I absolutely did know and recognized my long standing safety commitment.  She had the courage to request the information from me instead of the safety managers.  And she communicated the request publicly by first saying ‘Good Morning’ which got my attention as well as the attention of the others in the room.  Seeing that she is a member of our GARG team, I understand that she is committed to make changes in the way she acknowledges people.  And I must say this was a unique way to do so!  We have another GARG meeting today, where I have chosen to acknowledge her for acknowledging me.

    Have a safe and fun filled weekend!

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #8269

    Hello all.  I hope you are all having a safe week.  There are so many natural disasters occurring all over the nation and the world, it’s almost impossible to be free of any disaster.  Where I live in central Washington State, the only solace from the intense amount of wildfire smoke is that the daily temperatures have been kept down from the expected +100°F to the mid to high 80’s.  But it doesn’t feel, smell or taste good!

    Today I would like to start by expressing my sincere gratitude for all of the discussions and blogs and podcasts that have been submitted by all of you.  Throughout my entire career, and for that matter adult life, I have been a sponge when it comes to my own professional development.  Through Jim Trela’s podcasts, to the blogs by Donald Officer and Judy, and the inspiration from Dr. Kerzner I have grown tremendously.

    I would also like to share something with you that I experienced recently.

    I had a discussion with a very good friend of mine about grateful leadership and the power of acknowledgement.  His name is Kay, named after one of King Arthur’s knights. He is a lifelong farmer.  He has worked in the dairy business and fruit orchards since he was only 10 years old!  He owns acreage, but has been a farm worker/foreman throughout his career.  He has literally outlived his 2 main bosses; both passing away on their farms.

    We got into a discussion about acknowledgement, where he shared how different his two bosses were.  The one from the dairy business showed unending acknowledgement.  In fact his entire family had acknowledged Kay as well.  This was especially evident when, after the matriarch and patriarch had both passed, the family GAVE Kay the entire farm; house, tools, tractors, everything. They were so appreciative for the 20 plus years he worked the dairy and took care of ‘Rachel’ the matriarch until she passed at the age of 97, they wanted him to have the place.

    His next boss was not so open with acknowledgement.  Kay worked as the orchard foreman; hiring, firing, assigning personnel, training new pickers, etc.  The whole shebang!  Kay worked there for 24 years until he came upon the boss ‘Frank’ one day on the tractor, dying from an aneurysm.  Through all those years Kay stayed loyal to Frank, who was well known to be a crusty old curmudgeon.  And Kay never received a raise.  All those years, and no raise.  And no vacation time.  No acknowledgement of the loyalty, the sacrifice, the consistently reliable worker that Kay is.

    I did grasp the opportunity to acknowledge his big heart.  I looked him in the eye and told him so.  I could see it meant a lot, but it would have been better coming from Frank.  He even told me that.

    Fortunately (to some extent) Frank’s wife Kathy has had the ‘sneeze effect’.  Kay lost his job when Kathy leased the farm to a conglomerate.  But she still has control of the land around her house.  She ‘hires’ Kay to help with everything from cutting grass, to chauffeuring her to doctor appt’s.  She funded Kay’s trip to visit his son in Alaska.  She realized that Frank had never given Kay the truly deserved acknowledgement in any form, even handshakes.  So, she has been ‘sneezing’ ever since!

    I tell this story because, like I said, I am a sponge.  I need input.  I will get it from any source I can find.  As much as I greatly appreciate the knowledge and understanding I get from you all, I wanted to share how I find guidance, understanding and knowledge in the real world application of the power of acknowledgement, even when I find it in the orchard, or dairy barn, or my dining room table.

    in reply to: And now, for something completely different (or not) #8203

    Howdy all!  Today I’d like to update you all on our G.A.R.G. meeting.  We reviewed the topic from last week: Consciousness, then we moved into this week’s C, “Choice”.  We opened up about the opportunities we had over the last 2 weeks to be ‘conscious’ of the chance to acknowledge someone, and what ‘choices’ we made.  It was a very good discussion.  We talked about making the choice to acknowledge and how it feels to choose that acknowledgement, which led into the feelings of vulnerability that comes with making the choice.  I asked the group how it feels when you choose NOT to acknowledge someone, and I was greatly encouraged by the responses.  Everyone said they feel horrible when they don’t take that opportunity to step around their vulnerability and offer the well deserved praise.  That generated so much debate and examples.  Bottom line; everyone seems to get it.  We all understand that a heartfelt recognition is not something to squander.  And when we do, we all feel the loss.  I can’t wait for the next meeting when we talk about the courage it takes to step out from the protection of inaction and do what is right for that well deserved employee, that above and beyond performance, and for that consistent positive behavior that we see every day.

    Have a great weekend everyone.  You deserve it!

    in reply to: And now, for something completely different (or not) #8164

    Howdy all!  I can tell you that our little group here called GARG, the Grateful Appreciation & Recognition Group had a great first meeting last Friday.  We agreed on what we saw as the purpose for the meetings, how we want to succeed with this meeting and set a few simple ground rules on length and such.  Then we started on our first topic; ironically the first C,  CONSCIOUSNESS!  I previously mentioned we would start with courage, but it made more sense to start at the very beginning.  After all, it is a very good place to start.

    And it went very well.  We are looking forward to our next meeting in 2 weeks.  And it has already paid off.  My peers are already looking at ways to start thanking their own employees and peers, and have been asking each other for tips and hints.  The grass is growing in the desert!

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #8160

    Howdy all!  Just thought I had to do a quick share!

    I just attended a company sponsored 2 hour seminar on presentation skills; nothing too exciting.  The facilitator has been here many times on other topics, and I bring up Grateful Leadership to him at just about every one I attend.  Well I didn’t get the chance to bring it up this time.  He did.  At the end, he went around the room; asking what we got out of his presentation.  With each person, he asked them by name, until me.  For my turn, he smilingly said, “And what did you get out of this Mr. Grateful Leadership?”   It was not meant as a replacement for my forgotten name, but as a simple acknowledgement for what I had been sharing with him at other events.  I thought that was a great acknowledgement from him!

    And, maybe the word is getting out a little more…

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #8151

    I couldn’t agree more Jim!  I was having a little fun with the .6 for that very reason.  Acknowledgement should be deserved, and not held to some standard.  I know recently I mentioned a metric for self-assessment purposes only.  Holding to a standard of 2-1, 4-1, 5.6-1 positive to corrective feedback, or for any quantified metric will ultimately minimize the heartfelt meaning of the acknowledgement down to nothing more than a limp handshake, or a check mark on a bucket list for the week.

    I was trying to focus more on the idea of using the Grateful Leadership and the power of acknowledgement when it comes to giving constructive criticism.  Constructive criticism of performance must be a tool in every leader’s toolbox, and the leader needs to know how best to use it.  I do believe that when giving criticism, the leader needs to recognize that the recipient will be a bit vulnerable, and the delivery could make or break a person’s forward motion.  So good heartfelt empathy needs to be utilized when doing so.  And I think that is right up the alley of the power of acknowledgement.


    Thank you so much for your feedback, Jim!


    How about everyone else?

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #8149

    Hello everyone!  As I’ve mentioned before I need input.  So I was reading a post I found on the web site for, written by a guest writer named Ryan Bridges.  He writes about 8 strategies for employee retention.  Guess what # 2 is?

    “2. Offer Positive Feedback
    Employees thrive on feedback, both positive and critical. It’s easy to blow it out of proportion, however, and sometimes managers forget to say anything due to busy or stressful work days. According to a study posted on Harvard Business Review, the ideal proportion between positive and corrective feedback is 5.6 to 1. Let your employees know when they’ve made exceptional progress on a project, and praise them for a job well done once it’s finished. Taking this initiative will keep your team motivated and ready for the next challenge.”

    So I did a little thinking about this and came up with a couple of thoughts.

    First, how do you give a .6 feedback?

    OK seriously, it’s interesting that the proportion of feedback is between positive and corrective, not negative.  As a Navy team training instructor I learned that the best way to help the students understand their errors is through constructive criticism.  Giving negative feedback teaches them absolutely nothing.  It only brings them down further.  They know they made mistakes.  And eventually the negative words, if continued, will cause total breakdown of the teamwork needed for their success.  And in my former world of nuclear weapons, team breakdown could mean no protection of home.

    It’s the same in any work atmosphere.  And now I also realize, the corrective feedback can be given with as much sincerity and empathy as the best positive feedback.  Grateful Leadership is not only for the praise we share with peers, subordinates or management.  It can and should be employed in every opportunity to provide feedback; both the positive and the corrective.

    Now that’s the power of acknowledgement.

    in reply to: A CGL Member-inspired addition to the 5 C's: The 4 P's #8121

    To all, Jim and I had some email traffic back and forth, related to Judy’s post, which she asked to place in the communications board . Here is the text of the email traffic. Judy/Jim, please let me know if I have missed anything.

    Jim: Judy,
    I’ve read your post several times. Each time I begin to write a response, but I feel that I fall short; the words not forthcoming. Thank you for your kind words. I am a man that measures the action by the result; and currently a result has not been received.
    I have high hopes for bringing Grateful Leadership to GM. We have planted the seeds, let’s see what we harvest.
    – Jim Trela

    Judy: Dear Jim,
    You are very humble! What you have done is make a “Commitment” to being this forth at GM, no matter what obstacles you might need to overcome! And we all have these. If I were to tell you the number of times I have considered stopping this work because not enough people were coming on board, or we weren’t selling enough books, or what ever was disappointing or stopping me at that moment, you would be shocked and dismayed.
    But from the beginning, I knew this was my passion and my purpose for being “here” — on this planet. I have had the extraordinary good fortune to have the support of IIL throughout this journey. And that has kept me going.
    And now you and others like you are keeping me going, filled with greater and greater hope and optimism…much of the time, and not always.
    Just your Commitment has incredible power, whether the result is achieved immediately or not. I am totally grateful to you and to the others making the Commitment you have. Your Purpose drives this mission, and your Passion, Patience, and Persistence will make it happen!
    Hang in there! You’re doing a phenomenal job. You’re making an outstanding contribution.
    With gratitude, Judy
    P.S. I will reply to your post with something along these lines.
    And do any of you see a fifth “P”? Just for consistency. Just wondering… 🙂

    Tom: It might be somewhat redundant, but I see a difference between Persistence and Perseverance.
    And, Judy I feel the same as Jim about your comments. They do mean a tremendous amount to me. I thank you very much for them. I am already using the 4/5 P’s here at SSM. I’m not sure if the responses I have gotten from senior management are real or superficial. At least my manager is very sincere.
    I guess, the best way to say it is;
    I have received my Purpose from your work, and have developed my Passion to continue it here. I need to continue being Persistent to get the message out and to Persevere through management’s reluctance to change, to get these stuck in the muds moving in the right direction. I also need to understand their own drive for success and be Patient enough to let the concept sink in to them.
    And I thank you Judy for the awakening I received from you on this passion of yours.

    Jim: Tom,
    To paraphrase:
    Persistence is to continue the pursuit.
    Perseverance is increasing the push when needed to overcome management reluctance and back pressure.

    Am I close?
    – Jim

    Tom: That is how I perceive it. (Another P word maybe?)

    in reply to: Introduce Yourself! #8118

    Hello Stephanie, it’s nice to meet you!

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #8113

    Hello all! I didn’t get a chance to share last week, but I am delighted to do so today. And I’d like to start with a spin of an old saying, “The grass is greener – RIGHT HERE!”

    In the effort to broaden our membership and introduce the concept of the power of acknowledgement to my co-workers and management, I believe I have succeeded in convincing my manager!

    Ben came to me about a week ago and said he wanted to start a grassroots effort to incorporate acknowledgement and grateful leadership at the first line supervisor level, with the desire for it to flourish throughout the plant. He has supported my effort to get senior management to look into the power of acknowledgement, since they had already admitted we don’t recognize or acknowledge the folks here very well. But since they have been reluctant to move, he didn’t want to wait any longer. We sat and discussed what this will look like; a small group at first, to test the waters and see where it goes. First line managers and similar staff members will be invited to a short meeting to discuss different issues related to acknowledgement. We will start with the 5 C’s. After Ben approached me with his idea, I immediately emailed Judy. I thought she would get the email the next day (it was late in the day on the west coast). But she emailed back right away, and we eventually held a teleconference the next day. I was able to snag our training coordinator at the last minute to be part of the meeting, and afterwards he said he will help schedule meetings, and assist as needed. Judy was kind enough to send us some literature to start with. After the meeting, Ben was even more excited to get this going.
    Ben is presently on a week long business trip in Canada, but when he returns, he wants to get this going quickly. I want to jump right in, but instead I will let Ben run with this and be his sidekick. In recent leadership development training and meetings we have had here (another effort which is in its infancy), many of the flow managers and staff have mentioned the lack of recognition and acknowledgement. So we believe they will be willing to get involved.

    This is great! I won’t be disappointed if this takes long to get off the ground. After all, grass doesn’t grow any faster while you watch it. But as long as you take care of it, your field of grass can become a beautifully landscaped lawn that eveyone can appreciate.

    Who says grass doesn’t grow in the desert?

    in reply to: Dilemma: Can You Acknowledge Too Much? #8112

    Gee Jim, that sounds familiar. I bet there are a few out there that have experienced that kind of comment.

    I guess it all depends on how strong the working relationship is between you and your manager. For myself, I wouldn’t change a thing. I now know that, as you said, my success is only as good as our success. So if I pat myself on the back, I better be the last one in line getting pats. As for your manager, again depending on how well you relate to her, you could mention to her that recognition means the world to you when it comes from her. Myself, when I tried to pat myself on the back, I got this song stuck in my head for the rest of the day. You may know it; Mack Davis’ “Oh Lord, It’s Hard To Be Humble.”

    Good Luck Jim. This tape will self destruct in five seconds (I’ve always wanted to say that to someone!)

    in reply to: Hey! How about another challenge! #8103

    Hello all! This week, I’d like to share about my prep work for certification as a Certified Associate of Project Management (CAPM). I’ve been studying the 5th edition PMBOK guide. I am going through chapter 9 which is Project Human Resource Management, where it goes through all aspects of building a team, performance assessments and the like. And it talks about recognitions and rewards in section There is a statement that sounds very familiar, “People are motivated if they feel they are valued in the organization and this value is demonstrated by the rewards given to them.” Sounds like a great definition of a heartfelt acknowledgement. It goes on to suggest team recognition throughout the lifecycle of the project, rather than waiting until the project is completed. There have been many great examples shared here of acknowledging individuals. I was curious how some of the project managers here acknowledge their teams. Does anyone have an example they’d like to share? It is for my training you see. After all, I need input…..

    Thank you all for the sharing you have already given and for the sharing I look forward to learn from.

    in reply to: Correction and Grateful Leadership #8100

    What I’ve used in the past, was setting the stage by acknowledging an employee’s normally good performance level, and then comparing the less than expected performance as the anomaly.

    For example, ” Joe, thank you for coming in.  I really appreciate the team work and professionalism you have in your everyday work.  You do ‘XXXX’ very well, and the ‘YYYY’ products from you and your team are always top notch.  Your attitude is always so positive, and brings out the best in your co-workers.  Lately, I’ve seen some differences in your performance that I would like to understand….”

    Fortunately, I haven’t had to have this discussion with a lot of folks, but it’s always an uncomfortable discussion on both sides.  So bringing up the positive norms usually breaks the ice in an amicable way.  I’ll admit, I have had discussions that I started with phrases such as,”What the heck happened?” or “Are you trying to get 1. killed, 2. fired, 3. me mad?”  And sometimes worse opening phrases I won’t say here.

    in reply to: How is Grateful Leadership evolving and spreading? #8078

    I’m not sure if this is the proper forum to ask this.  But I have a question.  Why is it that ‘senior management’ can ask, suggest or even expect the company staff and first line management team to build and improve on their team dynamics, while not be willing to improve themselves?

    At my company, our training coordinator has set up a number of leadership development training sessions throughout the year, and senior management is encouraging all to attend.  Yet, none of them feel the need to attend themselves, as if they don’t need to chang.  It’s as if they only expect us to change to their way of thinking.  That seems counter-productive.  It doesn’t seem to support the concept of leadership development.

    We have already taken a class on communication skills, and had a dinner/presentation meeting where we as separate teams presented what we perceive are the problems with communications, and offered solutions.  The focus of all the presentations was the poor level of communications from senior management, and we all offered some great ways to fix it.  Today we had the next in the series on team motivation and coaching skills.  The only senior staff attendee was our HR rep.  And our chief engineer stopped in to eat the donuts.  Afterwards, the discussions among the attendees centered on the absence of the senior staff and how they missed out on some great tools they need.

    So, what can be done to get senior management, who are asking their staff to improve, to improve themselves?

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 85 total)
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