The political season is in full bloom and many ads will soon be bombarding us with “Gotcha- politics”. Regardless of your political affiliation, both parties use this technique which is simply, to catch someone doing something that is going to hopefully make would be voters turn away from their opponent.
You don’t have to spend much time on the internet to discover a video of someone doing something incredibly dumb.
We walk into our boss’s office when he or she calls and expect to be told what we’ve screwed up.
How easy is it to walk in the door of your home with an expectation that something will be completed, or waiting for you, only to instantly know that the person you counted on let you down? (This asked by the mother of a teenage boy).
Tonight on my way home I picked up takeout food for my family’s dinner. I was instantly annoyed when I noticed, as I was driving off that, the person who bagged my order had missed about ¼ of the order. We are trained to catch others and ourselves doing something wrong. Many of us have finely tuned radar that can scope out failure in a nanosecond.
What would it take to train ourselves to catch people doing something right? Better yet, how about catching ourselves doing something right? Why is it okay to notice the wrong, but to dismiss the right as the norm with little regard for the effort to secure it?
I’m not suggesting that we walk around issuing press releases every time we or someone else ties our shoes correctly. Greg Behrendt has a pretty funny (comedy routine called “You must Rock”. Unfortunately, the language is pretty vulgar, so I’m not going to put the link on my site, but it can be find pretty easily in a google search if you are curious. One example he give is the comparison of how we treat rock stars. They perform, while the crowd holds up signs and yells “We love you!” Behrendt asks his listeners to consider what it would be like if we treated the person who makes our morning Latte or drywalls our kitchen, with the same level of excitement when they do their job in an amazing way.
So if you don’t want to hold up an “I love you sign” for your barista and chant his or her name, you can certainly do that with a tip, which is always appreciated. But the tip goes in the jar and is split among everyone including the person who did not put in any extra effort. How about taking the extra step and saying “Hey, thanks!” in a personal way like “You always do that so quickly!” or “How do you manage to stay so cheerful every day?”
Better still, are you as likely to call and recognize an employee for good service, as you might be when they mess up your order?” This is something I really like having the opportunity to do. Usually the manager comes to the call braced for a ripping and is so incredibly grateful to hear that I am complimenting their establishment or employees that it is great fun for me.
This week make it a point to catch someone doing something right. And if you really want to have fun, catch yourself as well.