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Let the Good Times Roll

True confession - the materials you are about to read have not always been my innate orientation. Yes, it is true; at times I have been seen as a driven, pedal to the metal “Type A” personality. I have learned the hard way that pausing to reflect, recognize and reward a job well done is critical. Not just for me, but my team as well. According to research when it comes to unlocking creativity and innovation, positive reinforcement wins hands down over fear-based threats. For many of us giving and receiving complements and celebrating successes, big and small, is not an innate trait. The good news is like everything else, practice makes perfect.

Below are 3 things I have made a habit of practicing and yes I am getting pretty darn good at them! Turn a maxi into a mini: Often times work place goals are big and significant; endeavours that require a lot of resources (time, energy and people) to achieve them. Waiting until the end to celebrate your success does nothing in the here and now to create momentum. Breaking down the big or maxi goal into mini goals reinforces a can do attitude and helps shift peoples mind set from we’re not going to make it to we can make it happen. Stage your journey with plenty of recognition and reward pit stops. “Whoa the ponies” on the negative: Our brains have a tendency to over emphasize the negative relative to the positive. Beating yourself up and others with a tirade of “I/you should of’s” may feel good in the moment but you’ll pay for it in the long run. Focus on what is working first followed by what isn’t working and then determine what you are going to do about it. Enjoy the journey as much as the destination: While victory is sweet if the road to it is paved with hardship, sacrifice and heart ache you’ll have a hard time getting back in the saddle yourself and convincing anyone else to join you. Pausing during the journey to reflect on all that you have accomplished trains your brain that you have it under the hood to make it happen and you can enjoy yourself along the way. Yes, I’ve eaten a piece of humble pie and recognized it is critical to balance drive and high standards, with reflection and positive reinforcement. This leads to a deep sense of joy and satisfaction that lasts a lot longer and tastes a lot sweeter than a fleeting, one off win.

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