Jonathan's Perspective  

Jul 15

Creating a Positive Atmosphere

Creating a Positive Atmosphere   

What makes work worthwhile?  What makes relationships fulfilling?  A positive atmosphere.  With so many things conspiring against healthy relationships, a positive atmosphere will not happen by chance but by choice.   In Philippians 1:3-5 Paul writes, “I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Can you imagine receiving a letter like this from your supervisor?  How about from one of your parents or spouse?  Think how good that would make you feel.  Wouldn’t you respond positively and want to live into that high praise?!

It all begins with appreciation.  We know it is important, so we train our children to say ‘Thank You’ when they receive a gift or a compliment.  It is expected as good manners in society and business.  Remember this:  No one has to do anything for you, or buy from your company.  It is by their choice.  To say Thank You is to acknowledge that choice and the person’s generosity toward you.  When Amway opened their new headquarters they opened by throwing a party for all the construction, plumbing, electrical, roofing, HVAC, etc. workers who built their new building.  I doubt that they had ever experienced such a grand gesture of appreciation of a job well done.  Who could you through a party for?  For a number of years our family made Friday night dinner a celebration.  We took a moment to tell about the accomplishments and kind interactions of each person around the table before we prayed. 

Business consultant Ken Blanchard encourages managers to find people doing something right and giving them a ‘One Minute Praise‘.  A One Minute Praise is when you find a person doing something well and you take time to tell them 1) specifically what a good job they are doing, 2) how it helps the company, 3) how that makes you feel, and 4) that you have confidence in their abilities.  Finally, you seal it to their memory with a handshake or pat on the back.  You can go one step further and acknowledge their work before their peers.  That will make them feel ten feet tall.  In fact, I began this practice at home with my wife and kids some years back, and it very positively changed the atmosphere at home.

To create a positive atmosphere use carrots of praise.  Carrots generate more enthusiasm than sticks.  Without Thank Yous the well of kindness, generosity, effort and initiative can dry up.  People don’t only like thank yous; they need them.

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