This post actually took the form of a very, very long private Facebook post earlier. Nonetheless, I wanted to share it a little bit more widely. Thus, here we are.
I’m not even sure where this status is gonna go, but the TL;DR is: give praise where praise is due. Recognize people, positively. It’s Actively Caring, in a nut shell.
About a year ago, I left an absolutely SCATHING review on an online receipt survey (YES, I do those. I believe in survey karma) about a local restaurant that was not meeting my expectations. Their regional manager reached out, and apologized profusely for their poor service.
Now, a year latter, I’ve recognized that this same business is one that I frequent at least monthly, really enjoy, and has provided amazing service, great food, and even better hospitality. Last night, it moved me to e-mail that same regional manager more then 1 year later and let him know how much things have changed. This morning, they offered me to come and in pick up “a little something special.” I didn’t do it for anything special, I simply wanted to give praise where praise was due.
Anyone who knows me *VERY* well knows that I am very critical – BOTH ways. Most only see the positive side of that criticality, but trust me that it goes both ways. If you’re doing poorly I’ll call you out, but if you’re doing great, I’ll love on you so, so much and give many, many thanks.
Another example are the folks that I rent my cars from for business. I just gave them a call and said “Hey this is Justin Gr…” and even before I got my last name out, they were like “HEY BUDDY! We’ve got your car with your hand controls waiting here for you! Want a pick up from home in the morning? We’ll see you then!” It was like talking to an old friend, not a business. That same office I once ordered pizzas for, for lunch on one of my favorite employee’s last day at that branch (who I later ran into at the same company’s branch at Dulles. Beautifully, small world). And all of this even in a place as big as the Northern Virginia/D.C. region. It’s not like I live in a small town anymore, but it sure does feel like it.
Pro-social and positive, public recognition and commendation is REAL people. Meeting 1 new person everyday and helping 1 new person when I can is an amazing feeling. Not only will people remember you for both the positive and the negative moments, but it can truly help make someone’s day. It can help them improve, it can help them grow, it can help them feel great about the work they’re doing; and it can do the same for you, too. It’s just like how I always write “thank you” on the bank of a receipt for a server or waitress after a meal.
Remember, life is all about what you have done for other people.