Aspire to Inspire
Our guest blogger today is Karen Pearce of Fill Your Own Glass. I invited Karen to do a guest appearance because I like her blog and the optimism that she exudes. Karen brings a great story about learning to compliment and encourage your co-workers. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Karen.
Guest Blog by Karen Pearce
A few years back, I was about a month into a new job. During a weekly staff meeting I complimented a co-worker on her job knowledge. I was met with an awkward silence and blank looks from around the conference table, followed by an appreciative, if somewhat embarrassed, acknowledgement from the recipient. It seems I had just stumbled into uncharted office territory.
This was not the first time this had happened. It has been my experience that while managers are open to offering praise that is not always the case with co-workers. I was not wiling to offer it during the early years of my career either. I was insecure and unsure of my abilities. It was not until I grew and became confident, that I was able to start complimenting my peers.
I do not believe that people withhold accolades for being spiteful or unkind. It is done out of a sense of insecurity and uncertainty. Perhaps they are afraid that shining the spotlight on the talents of another will somehow diminish their own. They may fear that their praise will lead to a co-worker winning a promotion that they wish for themselves. Or, they might simply be worried that the compliment will not be well-received and valued by its beneficiary.
In contrast to extending praise to others, we do on occasion come across those who do the opposite. There are people who will, unfortunately, speak ill of their colleagues in trying to make themselves look smarter or more important. This, while also done out of a sense of insecurity and uncertainty, is done with malicious intent. Belittling others does not better us. Minimizing the accomplishments of others does nothing to maximize our own. Tearing others apart does not build us up. It only serves to make us look petty and small.
Criticism and pettiness is not limited to the workplace. We often hesitate to compliment classmates, friends, or family members. Most of us would seldom think to offer one to a stranger. If, however, we are willing to learn the power of sharing our admiration with others, then we will do so in unabashed fashion.
Be the light, aspire to inspire!
I love hearing one person compliment another. It never fails to make me smile and to give a pleasant lift to my day. If it has that effect on me then imagine what it does for the receiver. One kind phrase bestowed on someone has the power to literally change their life. It might do nothing more than brighten their day. Or it may be the one thing that pulls them back from the edge of darkness. It could be the flame that ignites their spark. Your words can make others shine!
Let us aspire to inspire!
I challenge you to spend the next week on a “compliment crusade”. Find five people each day, and pay them each a genuine compliment. Watch how it affects them, and see if they pay it forward in kind. I believe that if you try it for a week and see the results, you will make it a part of your daily routine. Let’s not just read the motivational quotes. Let’s BE the motivational quotes! Let’s aspire to inspire!
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