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The Power of “Thank You”

A morning thought as you start your day….

A genuine “thank you” is all too rare — and shouldn’t be.  Eye contact when communicating is forgotten – and mustn’t be.  Positive evaluation is empowering and should be the norm.  Intensity and passion cannot be the rationale for negative criticism and a lack of communication. 

In the November 2010 issue of Fast Company, Nancy Lublin reminds us that appreciation and gratitude should be part of daily life.  We can apply appreciation, eye contact and sincerity to coaching and interacting with each other in our profession.  In “Thank You” Goes A Long Way, the CEO of Do Something notes that we often ignore the people who help us every day.   How many of us can apply that to our players?  Certainly, there are many occasions where our frustrations push us to forget about those 12 – 14 people who are in our charge.  We fail to see them and appreciate them — much less thank them.

Expressing appreciation is a powerful leadership skill, too, according to John Ryan, president and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership.  In a BusinessWeek column — Four Ideas for a Positive Workforce — he wrote:

“Many years ago, I was a junior U.S. Navy pilot in the Mediterranean, serving on our newest nuclear aircraft carrier with the most modern aircraft in the U.S. Navy.  The other aircraft carrier in the same area was our oldest conventional carrier with our oldest aircraft.  But it outperformed ours in almost every way. We had a technically competent captain who was not a good communicator and rarely offered a compliment.  When I visited the older carrier for a few days, it was immediately obvious that the captain there was a great communicator.  Translation to coaching… how many times during this non-conference portion of the college basketball schedule have we seen (perceived) lesser teams beat the “BIG boy’s?” (girl’s).  We see it every year in conference and NCAA tournament play… there is always one 12 beating a 5.  Leadership.  We as coaches need to empower, communicate and enable a group to achieve beyond their means.  Strive to reach this daily in practice, in team meetings, in just seeing your team around campus, school or the gym.

“Several times a day he used the ship’s speaker system to tell the entire 5,000-member crew what specifically they were doing well, often recognizing teams and individuals. The entire ship hummed with energy and high performance.

“What kinds of captains are we in our own organizations?”

We are often and easily critical of our players/staff in front of the group… do we balance it out with recognition?  Do we find a way to evaluate performance without the negative connotation of critical analysis?  Do we think of Coach Larry Brown’s “5 to 1” philosophy?  (*Balance each single negative comment with 5 positive ones.)

Adapted from…The Power of “Thank You.”

via Center for Creative Leadership on 11/18/10

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