by Paul Casey

A Pat on the Back–guest blog by John LaFemina

Guest blogging for Growing Forward Services is a man I admire for his leadership skills. I met him through Leadership Tri-Cities, and I have on my schedule a time to pick his brain for gems of wisdom in how he leads at work and in our community. Enjoy!

john LA Pat on the Back

By John P. LaFemina, Ph.D. (


“There’s nothing greater in the world than when somebody on the team does something good, and everybody gathers around to pat him on the back.”                                                                                                                                                           Billy Martin, NY Yankees

Patting people on the back for a good play is common in sports.  Unfortunately, in the business world, it is easy to take people for granted.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 64 percent of Americans who leave their jobs say they do so because they don’t feel appreciated.  Gallup reports that almost 70 percent of people in the United States say they receive no praise or recognition in the workplace.

As a culture, we don’t do a very good job of expressing our appreciation for one another, especially at work.  We tend to focus our time and energy on what we don’t like, what we’re worried about or what we think needs to be fixed.

What would happen if we started paying more attention to the good stuff?

Every day, every moment, each of us has a choice about where we focus our attention.  And while it is important to fix things that need fixing, we can choose to focus on the good stuff and appreciate the people around us at work.  We do great things here every day; and by choosing to look for them we can – with practice and courage – focus the power of appreciation in our organization.

So, what can we do to bring more appreciation into our team?

  • Send a Thank You! card – with so much of our      communication on the computer, a hand written card makes a big impact.
  • Say “Thank You” when you receive a compliment – by      accepting compliments from others; you help make it easier for you to give      compliments.
  • Talk about the good stuff Talk      about what is going well and what you like about working with your      colleagues.  Take the time to share      good news.
  • Acknowledge people publicly – Even though      folks many get a little embarrassed, most people like being praised in      front of their peers.

When we focus on the good stuff, good stuff happens.  Choose your focus.  Choose your attitude.  Choose encouragement; and give your teammates a pat on the back!

“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their, successes, and encourage them in their pursuits.  When we all help one another, everybody wins.”                                                                                             Jim Stovall



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