Thank YouEvery week I offer ideas to help you finish on a high note. Use the ideas to finish strong and set the stage for success heading into the new week.

Purge The Lingering Effect of Unfounded Criticism.

Feedback is important in our professional development, but not all feedback is credible and worth the space it rents in your mind. Authors, actors, playwrights all agonize over reviews. They are momentarily excited by the positive feedback and often crushed by the negative. It’s easy to let the opinions others have about you dictate how you feel about yourself. It’s a bad habit to take the positive reviews too seriously or to let the negative reviews crush you.

I learned long ago that I won’t win glowing reviews from everyone…in a workshop, an MBA course or a keynote. The batting average is great…high 90’s on a percentage basis who appreciate and benefit from the work. I value the ideas people proffer for strengthening the content or my approach. And then there’s the input from the 1 or 2 who it just didn’t work for. I look for the pearls of actionable wisdom in the negative feedback, and if there are none, I move on quickly.

Everyone has opinions…and not all of them are equal or worth the energy it takes to fret over them. If you’ve been on the receiving end of some undue criticism this week, take the time to explore the areas for genuine improvement. If it’s just hot air and toxic talk, purge it from your brain. It’s not worth the effort it takes to retain it.

Have You Said “Thank You” to Your Team Members Recently?

It’s easy for the months and even years to fly by in our workplaces without hitting the pause button once in awhile and offering a very well deserved “Thank you” to our team members. While it’s unlikely you take them for granted, it’s ridiculously easy to simply count on people being there to execute on their work and to solve problems and drive performance. I’ve known senior managers who skipped the “Thank you” step and found themselves sitting with a resignation letter in hand wishing they had done more to acknowledge their appreciation for the person along the way.

Take the time today to start working through your team members and offering your thanks for their hard work and dedication. Better yet, thank them for applying their own unique “superpower” to the team and firm. If appropriate, offer a minor token of your appreciation, but be certain to personalize it to the individual. And no, company logo-gear is typically not appropriate.

One business owner reached out to me and shared that he had rarely ever offered anything resembling positive feedback or a sincere thanks. Nonetheless, his team had remained largely intact over the years. (This was a positive sign that he had treated them with respect regardless of the lack of visible appreciation.) He wondered how his staff would react if he started this behavior. I assured him that after counseling them that he was neither ill nor leaving, they would appreciate the shift in style. It’s never too late until it’s over.

OK, that’s it for the week. Finish up in great style and come back next week ready to conquer the world! -Art


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An ideal book for anyone starting out in leadership: Practical Lessons in Leadership by Art Petty and Rich Petro.