Taking Things For Granted

A couple of weeks ago, TeamBonding worked at one of our favorites hotels in Boston.

Due to the configuration of the room, I needed to make some physical changes to the lay out.

The hotel staff, in particular one person, was wonderful. Helpful, funny, accommodating. Laughed at my jokes and made his own. He had this outlook on life that was simple, positive and infectious. His attitude to his work and those around him had an effect in that room. It inspired me and the way I wanted to facilitate that day.

The program was a success and I left determined to write a thank you.

Which I did not do. Can you believe it?

I know he didn’t act in that fashion to receive compliments. He didn’t need that, as there was no ego at play. He was genuinely a happy person.

I thought about my failing to send a thank you, all the excuses; I was busy, I was travelling, nobody was relying on an email from me. In truth it was simple, I took his service granted. He was just being himself, so he didn’t need praise for that.

How easy it is to accept that someone who is happy and delivering a great job, is just that. Always happy and good at what they do. What if they are really working hard to do that? We have all had days when we just don’t feel like it. When we are tired or consumed with other thoughts and we do not want to make that conference call, or go to that meeting, yet we do. When you know we are “phoning it in” rather than being fully aware and present. Yet we all know the difference between the two. How a simple shift of focus can elevate our work.

Why not do that every day? There are people who do. There are people who you expect them to do just that. Inspirational leaders, world leaders, surgeons – who wants a surgeon who isn’t focused?

Yet, look at those who are in positions that you do not expect such attention from.

I remember two centuries ago, I was a receptionist. There was a terrible storm happening and I had left home extra early to get into work. Instead of thirty minutes, it took me two hours. I was surprised how many people phoned me to say they couldn’t get in and requested what work I could do for them. Not one person asked how I had managed to get in. I was just always there, as if by magic – and not public transport.

So, do not overlook those around you who are constantly working hard. Who smile and wish you a good day. Who take the extra mile, to go an extra mile, just because they know they want to. They do not expect or want or need anything. They just want to have a good life. We can spend our time trying to manage those who are not doing a good job – what about recognizing those who are?

Celebrating a successful team is as beneficial as team building with a difficult team. Some of those positions that are truly supporting your company are not those with incentives, shares or commissions. Take a look and notice where the positive energy in your company is generating from. Stop to say thank you.

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