Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have access to all the kind words of appreciation and encouragement that anyone has ever said to us? You know, on those days where you wonder why you do what you do, or when life sends a curve ball your way. Or when you just need to be reminded that people do appreciate the work you’ve done.
Many years ago, when I was having a bad day at work, a mentor of mine told me about an “Atta-Boy” file he had started. He collected all the nice emails, cards, awards, sticky notes, and other notes of thanks or words of encouragement that he got at work and put them in a file in his desk. When we was having a rough day, he pulled out his file and read through the notes.
That day, I started my own “Atta-Girl” file. Over time it outgrew the file and was moved into notebooks. Today I am starting my fourth notebook.
Included in my first notebook is one of my favorite notes (an email) from a former boss sent to me on my first week of work at the new job. It simply says “I’m glad you’re here.” It still makes me smile. Another note I kept was from a staff person that read, “I really enjoy working for/with you because you are an engaged manger. You pay attention to what is going on, provide guidance when needed and give kudos. Your job is not easy and yet you handle it all with grace and humor.” That one was from 1999.
Starting an appreciation file or notebook can be a huge confidence builder when you take risks and things don’t turn out well, or when your boss throws you under the bus (yes, it happens). Start one for yourself. Encourage others to start one. When things get tough, you’ll be so glad you did.
Because words are powerful. Let them help you remember who you are.
Betty Lochner is the President and Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She is an award winning public servant, and a leadership and communication skills author, and national speaker. To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offerings visit her website.
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