The fact that I had taken time to congratulate him for his efforts was a seemingly small gesture from my point of view and took less than a minute to say, however, it had a big impact on his day, as he smiled and his face lit up in response to my short but sincere comments.
It was clear to me that the personal and internalized pride he showed in a job very well done was something that was very important to him and I am sure he really had no expectations that I would take time out to say what I had just said.
My words of appreciation was something I felt privileged to say, simply because I was impressed with what he had done and it was a measure of someone who was and is prepared to put in that little bit extra to make a very big difference in his business. Immediately after my comments he thanked me, then asked me did I see anything he could do to improve and if so, how could he make it a reality in his business. I must admit at the time I was not focused on what could be improved, so I guess my answer that I could not see anything he needed to improve, other than to keep doing what he was doing, was of little help to him – but it was an honest not a dismissive answer.
As I left him to continue on my day of business appointments, I realized that not only had I made a difference to his day by what I had said, but the positive comment had also encouraged him to seek out ways to make his even business better. In addition to this it had also lifted my spirits and I felt great that he responded so positively and valued my feedback. So often we find that our business and personal life is punctuated with reviewing what went wrong or what needs to be fixed that we miss the opportunity to lighten up and be uplifted by giving and sharing some positive feedback, even if it is to a relative stranger.
I am reminded of the very wise comments of an old friend, trainer and business mentor who said, ‘always look for the opportunity to find the positive in what people do, then give them genuine praise and watch them glow and grow with the appreciation.’
He loved using acronyms in his work, as it allowed him to shorten phrases or groups of words and as he put it – ‘anchor and reinforce his message in the minds of those he trained and mentored.’ His acronym for his work in training people to value and appreciate what others do and help them to glow and grow was – A.C.S.D.S.R.
A bit of a mouthful I suppose, but it has stayed in my mind all these years even if I have from time to time forgotten about its importance and to use it. I am sure you are wondering what it means, so here is the full version – Always Catch Someone Doing Something Right.
I can see him now, standing in front of a group of managers sharing with them his formula for not only getting the best out of people and helping them to grow, but also for making your day just that little bit better. As he talked with them about the value in doing this, many would respond – ‘but what do you say if they do something wrong.’
His reply was such a simple but profound one – ‘everyone does something right, you just need to look for it, let them know you value and appreciate it, then it is much easier to address what they may have done wrong and the solution to correct it.’ In addition, he would encourage everyone that he trained or mentored to use A.C.S.D.S.R. constantly in order to enjoy the personal lift your get from doing it.
It is good to be reminded of this wonderful acronym which I know needs to be maintained as part of my daily life and not just used occasionally. This is something I have now remedied today, by making a daily note in my diary for the coming month to act on it. After 30 days of A.C.S.D.S.R. I am sure this rewarding and enjoyable part of my life will again become a positive and ongoing habit.
Inspired by Neil Simpson and written by Keith Ready