Celebrating the Work of Others

One of the foundations of heart-based leadership is a commitment to celebrating the work and accomplishments of others, whether they’re colleagues, employees, or even competitors. When we intentionally honor others’ wins, we generate positive energy and create an opportunity for increased creativity, more meaningful and collaborative relationships, and greater well-being for all. There is more to this than simply going around praising others’ work and success. As leaders, we have the opportunity to model feedback that is empowering and energizing.

Meaningful, productive feedback is perhaps the most powerful tool in a leader’s arsenal — for increasing morale, productivity, and buy-in. Nevertheless, we often spend more time and energy identifying what needs to be done and managing people as they do it, than we do on the follow up. But the follow up is an essential moment for generating the positive energy and trust that will drive continued success.

So what does it look like to acknowledge the work of others with authenticity and heart? The first step is deepening our attention so we can really notice the positive qualities in others’ work. When praise is too general it feels empty; the more specific we can be in expressing our appreciation the better. This, in turn, gives us the opportunity to encourage others to continue in this way, making it more likely we’ll continue to see the type of work that generates positive results. Second, to make feedback truly meaningful, we must go beyond commenting on the work itself and share how we feel about it and how it helps the organization and others who work there. Through expressing our feelings about the work or accomplishment and placing it in a broader context, acknowledgment becomes a chance to spark connection and inspiration.

These two components are simple, but providing meaningful feedback takes greater time and closer attention than the way we usually give it. However, in my work, I have found that it is undoubtedly worth it. Making a commitment to honor the work of others’ around you and doing so consistently creates positive energy that helps people thrive and organizations succeed.

Get started: Make a commitment to notice the great work of others throughout this week and share authentic feedback with team members before they leave work on Friday. Send them into the weekend with the gift of your heartfelt appreciation.