Let Love Rule

I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m a self-avowed HR Hippie. I dig the vibe, approach and general sentiment of seeking balance in all areas of life. That includes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Before you read further, please know this isn’t a New Age post. I’m just sharing a viewpoint from my perspective that I’ve seen work over and over.

Just when we think that the world is coming to its senses, we find it pulling itself apart once again. Like most, I’m very concerned with all that is unfolding on the world stage. It’s a bit daunting because I’m sitting on my laptop thousands of miles away while others are wondering about their basic safety. To try and position anything of note during this time seems incongruent and frivolous. However, life continues to move in and around us while the conflict advances.

I feel that we’re in a time when we could reach out to each other intentionally instead of following the feeling that the fabric of society continues to unravel. It may seem like we’re in a loop of self-destruction everywhere we turn. I don’t want to succumb to that myself, and I don’t want to see those around me breaking down either. In the end, we can take action in a measured and effective way.

We can choose to love others regardless of how they treat us. You may feel that’s naive and Utopian, but as I mentioned before, it works. The difference is that I’ve seen it work when you stop to notice the individual in front of you. Mass efforts may bring a swell of great intentions, but they’re not sustainable. Most people also don’t have the capacity to effectively continue with a large number of relationships. This shouldn’t dissuade you though from approaching others from a loving vantage point.

I can hear the detractors screaming that we can’t say, or show, that we love our employees at work. It’s out-of-bounds or unwanted. People only desire a professional, arms-length relationship with their employer. It’s bad HR and bad practice in general to express love for others in the workplace.

I disagree.

Today, more than any time that I can recall, people are looking for ways to anchor and belong. That is true personally and professionally. This is much deeper than “engagement.” Every day in my role, I spend the vast majority of my time intentionally one-on-one with people. I know firsthand that this matters to their wellbeing, their balance, and how they will most likely approach others. It doesn’t matter if I’m spending time with fellow executives or people on the front line. They want to be seen, heard, valued and understood. They want to share their thoughts, opinions, joys and concerns.

Therefore, I choose to love them so that all of those actions can happen openly and without any sense of fear or hesitation. Please don’t misconstrue this as something that is flowery and squishy. Just the opposite. It is very intentional, respectful and direct. When people know that you are seeking them out and paying attention to them, you are going to be more successful than not in helping them feel safe, perform and thrive.

I may not be able to change the world stage, and I ache for those who are facing situations and an environment that is potentially life-threatening. I can, however, chip away and show a different way one person at a time. I can choose to let love rule.

A Blogging Quandry

I have a wandering mind. At times, I’ll sit and ponder things just to work through different thoughts, ideas, or explore several angles to consider things. It’s not easy for me to hear something that is shared by someone else and instantly take it just as it was stated. It’s like looking at a painting in a museum. If you stand in front of it long enough, you’ll discover more and more that you initially didn’t even notice. If you listen to others as they pass by the same painting, you’ll hear how they take in the art and it may not include anything you witnessed or felt.

I love that about humans !! We were intentionally created differently. No one person is the same. As much as we’d like more conformity in the hope that we’d have less variety and variability, it’s folly. All of these meanderings have been creeping into my thoughts pushing me to grapple with this urge to respond.

Blogging is an outlet for me. It has been since I started writing on this site 11 years ago. What started as a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law has become a blank canvas that allows me to empty my mind of the constant flow of movement and gathering of thoughts and observations. I enjoy sitting down once a week on Sunday afternoons to stare at the white screen and start typing. It refreshes and fulfills me.

You see, I was a post-early adopter of blogging. I knew of several folks I am fortunate to also call friends who had started sharing content in 2007 and 2008. I loved learning from them and allowing them to expand my horizon and viewpoints not only on HR, but on business, music, and life in general. Back then, you couldn’t keep up with the multitude of authors. It seemed like people had found a platform where they could share and reach audiences around the world. The conversations that had been taking place inside the four walls of offices now had an endless landscape that was no longer bound by geography, language or time zones.

When I joined in, it was exciting and the array of blogs grew, expanded and flourished. Unfortunately, that energy and focus has waned. I should have guessed this would be the case because every format of communication has a season. Blogs turned into podcasts, webinars and conference sessions. Some even became books trying to capture a compilation of posts like the old “greatest hits” albums you could get from your favorite musical artist.

I’m not trying to be overly sentimental or critical. As time passes, things change. I do have one concern though that I want to point out so we don’t revert to times before blogging.

Image from Editorial Cartoonists – Cox & Forkum

You see, prior to blogging and social media, the HR profession was barely connected. There were pockets of professionals that may have met in person in their city or town, but they didn’t have access to much new information. The profession was predominantly about compliance and tactics. You never heard about anyone who tried to break through and change this approach. It was like an endless cul-de-sac which looped and looped eternally waiting for the next legal update to be issued.

When blogging began, it was similar to explorers pushing past the existing boundaries and refusing to stay in the loop. I get the feeling now that a new loop is starting to form because the dawn of exploration has diminished. People are settling back into the pockets of their sphere of relationships and are starting to make smaller and smaller cohorts.

Within their group, they are still effective and engaged. What’s missing are the voices who are still curious, uncomfortable and disruptive. People willing to challenge the norm and seek new ways to evolve and create. People eager to keep the flame of exploration alive so that the “next” great horizon can be uncovered and developed.

This isn’t a call to return to the golden days of blogging. However, it is a gauntlet to throw down and not let our profession settle and step back. There is so much that is yet unknown. There is so much that is yet to exist. There is so much room to encourage, push forward and elevate humanity. We can’t fall back. We can’t dissipate. It may be daunting, tiresome and overwhelming to maintain the call to move ahead. But we must.

And, so I blog . . .

HR Improv !!

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were able to get out on the town and catch a live show. It was magnificent !! To be able to get to see live entertainment would have been wonderful enough, but on top of that we were able to laugh for almost two straight hours. We went to see a comedy improv show featuring two of the regular cast members of the show Whose Line is it Anyway? – Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood.

If you’re not familiar with the TV show, it’s all improv comedy. They come to the stage with some general ideas of the scenes they are going to play, but they rely on the audience for suggestions and clues to character and direction. They have incredible skill because even the most outrageous suggestions are easily woven into their work without missing a beat. It’s a wonderful art form. I sat in the audience completely captured by every moment, shift and adaptation with what seemed to be absolutely incongruent fragments of ideas as they all came together.

Of course, it reminded me of HR !! I don’t know if we get to have nearly as much laughter as I did at the show, but every day we’re faced with the unknown. To me, this is what makes the profession so wonderful and attractive. Not knowing what will come next is invigorating. It really is. In fact, because we get the privilege of working with people, our days can’t be predictable. That’s because each person is unique and sees things through a lens that is linked specifically to them.

Ironically, we complain about this. We want to have everyone be the same. We long for the same behaviors, the same reactions and that everyone would just “stay in line.” We believe the myth that if this is how working with people was, then HR would be much easier. However, it would also be dull and lifeless.

We were meant to be improv artists in HR !! Think of it. Each day you’re given just a few snippets of a situation and then you have to assess, create and act to make everything “come together.” Isn’t that fantastic ??!! When you do this, you’ll see that you have an innate ability to work with each person for who they are instead of trying to make them conform to a listless script.

So, this week instead of trying to make everything fit into a predictable pattern that can’t truly exist, step into your reality and get ready to improvise. It’s far more natural and even – entertaining !!

Right Role, Right Time

WHO DEY !!!

I know this isn’t the traditional way to start an HR blog, but I’m a Cincinnati Bengals fan. I have been for decades. The last time they were this good was just after I moved to the Cincinnati area in 1986 !! Sure, we’ve had a few years where we made the NFL playoffs since then, but there hasn’t been this type of excitement for 30+ years !!

To be a Bengals fan is to be someone who has known long-suffering. For years, you’d watch games on TV and listen to the broadcasters talk primarily about the other team. They’d list the multiple years the team never won a prime time game. Or, they’d talk about how we hadn’t won a playoff game for over 30 years. Last night was the first “away” playoff game they won . . . EVER !!

It’s hard to capture the joy and exuberance that I experienced when our rookie kicker hit the game-winning field goal as time ran out. I was clapping and screaming in my family room by myself and I didn’t care. It was wonderful to see the local media, social media and the entire city come together to celebrate. In fact, our local news is covering every possible Bengals aspect for the majority of each broadcast. It’s ironic to see how something so simple can drown out the noise, negativity and divisiveness that tries to fully consume every moment of every day.

What made Saturday’s victory over the Tennessee Titans even better was listening to the post-game press conferences. Every player and the head coach talked about the team as a whole. When pressed to talk about their own personal play and accomplishments, they deferred and talked about how other players did better. They are performing as a unit and they understand that each member of the team has something of value to offer. They wouldn’t be swayed to lift one individual over another. It was refreshing to hear how they’ve adopted a culture that proves that ALL succeed when you play TOGETHER.

Of course, it made me think of HR and organizations today. I think we aspire to have fully functioning teams made up of people who are aligned in roles where they can perform. I truly do. However, I don’t think we do all we can to organize our companies in ways that can make this come to life. I feel that most still follow old models of identifying “hi-po’s” and force rank people to falsely put people into more significant roles. Our approaches are still laced with inherent bias and a popularity contest where those we “like” can advance. It’s tiring for people to know how to maneuver the hidden internal politics on a daily basis just to ensure they have a place . . . at all.

It’s time to ditch the old models completely. They have never given us the sustainable outcomes we’ve aspired to. Never. Aren’t you tired of complaining about people who seem to be out of place? I don’t fault employees for this misalignment. I think it falls to senior leadership to be equipped by HR to get this fixed. What would your day be like if everyone was in their “right” place and all they did was perform? It would be magnificent !!

You see, we’re riding a short-term dose of euphoria as Bengals fans. We’re caught up in the swell of the moment. Nothing wrong with that. The difference is that the team already believes this is the beginning of how they expect to perform not only for this postseason run but into the future. They don’t want it to be another flash in the pan or flavor of the month. Sound familiar ??

I’ve been taking the approach listed in the picture above over the past year of having the right person in the right role for the right time. It’s tough to do. Honestly, you fight decades of how people have been crammed into roles more to fit a job requisition than being thoughtful in getting people where they can excel on a regular basis.

This is the good “hard work” that lies ahead of us as HR professionals as we navigate this new landscape of work. It has to happen if you want to see your people, and your organizations, thrive. I’m tired of decades of aspirations just as much as I was being a Bengals fan “hoping” that things would change. Do what you can to assess, realign and get people where they need to be. They’re longing for it personally and the company is yearning for a set of teams full of talent to move things forward.

Oh, and for at least one more week . . . WHO DEY !!

Time to Develop

We live in a world of “instants.” We desire instant affirmation, adoration and adulation. We are impatient during our commutes, the delivery of goods that we order or any time we are required to wait in any line of people more than one. We truncate our communication and make broad decisions based on snippets of words without seeking, or asking for, context.

We binge our entertainment and get frustrated when the next season may, or may not come out. For those who can’t even sit through an entire show, we consume TikTok and YouTube videos in larger volumes which ironically take the same amount of time. We have even bought into the thought that these behaviors help us “relax” when they seem to make us more entrenched in taking in more and more.

Put on top of this environment that we have raised at least two generations of humans who know no other reality. Every moment of their lives has happened at an exponential pace. Every. Moment. They only know immediacy and wonder why those who are older fight against what they see as normal. Add to this the rapid expectation of work, reward and advancement are pressing its way into the workplace and culture of every company.

Don’t think that I’m positioning this as a complaint. I personally am someone who has realized the climate I live in even though I’m old enough to remember when you couldn’t get access to almost anything you wanted instantly. In fact, the majority of my life has been lived before the age of instancy. It’s something that is starting to reemerge in the workplace. People want to know how to slow down, how to breathe, and how to develop.

I fondly remember the days when we had cameras that required actual film. It seemed nearly impossible to load the camera correctly with the roll of film the first time. You then had to advance the film until you saw the indicator on the back of your camera show the number “1” just to get ready to take a picture. After all of that effort, you had to hope that the scene you wanted to capture held still enough for the click of the button for the mechanism to close and open to imprint the negative image on the film tucked away inside the camera. You couldn’t even enjoy the picture you took until the entire roll of film had been used AND after you dropped it off to get developed.

Ironically, I don’t ever remember anyone complaining that this process took so much time. You had actual anticipation when you went to the drug store to pick up the prints to see if the pictures even turned out well. The issue of time was built into the art of photography whether you were an amateur or a professional. You couldn’t make it go faster. You were at the mercy of taking your time in order to enjoy the outcome.

This is what is reemerging in the workforce even today. People yearn to be developed more than being measured. They want the time and attention of their managers, their peers and senior leadership. Employees understand that this desire exists even in the middle of the mad rush of the day. Many are now choosing to make the decision to change jobs and/or companies. I think this is happening in part because companies are choosing to not take the time to develop people.

This is a giant blind spot. We keep fostering the myth that pace and production are far more important than people equipped to perform. HR would be an even more strategic leader if they’d be willing to step up and fight the myth. I have made a conscious effort to put development as a priority this coming year and going forward. It’s something that I hope to assess, define and create on a person-by-person basis from executive leadership throughout the organization.

I’m not quite sure what it will look like, but I know that it’s needed and that people are longing for it. Time is our best ally if we choose to use it intentionally as we continue to move rapidly. Development can happen in every company naturally as long as there is someone willing to stem the tide.

You see, I love that I can now take a picture whenever I want with the “camera” on my phone. I’m grateful for the advancements in technology that have improved this process because now I have more time to develop those I work with. Reallocate your time. Adjust who gets your attention. Take time to develop others. You’ll love the pictures that come from doing it well !!

No Strangers Here

This past weekend I was able to enjoy a great birthday gift. My grown kids know me so well, and they pulled their funds together to get me tickets to see a Xavier University basketball game. Ever since I moved to the Cincinnati area in the mid-’80s, I’ve followed and been a fan of, Xavier basketball. The other cool aspect of this incredible gift was that it was an away game against Butler University which is in Indianapolis where my daughter now lives. So, we got to go to the game together. My son lives in the San Diego area and it would have been even greater to have him there, but he couldn’t make it.

If you’ve never been to Butler University, they play in historic Hinkle Fieldhouse where part of the iconic movie, Hoosiers, was filmed. Walking into this arena was amazing in its own right. I’ve always been the fan who gets to games early and I stay until the very end. I have indoctrinated my kids with this expectation, and they enjoy doing this as well. My daughter and I sat in our seats in a predominantly empty stadium taking in all of the sites. Slowly, the arena began to fill up, and seats were becoming occupied. You always wonder who’s going to sit next to you, or if the seats next to you will remain open giving you a little more room to not feel cramped.

As I looked to my right, I saw a frail, elderly couple come into our row with a middle-aged couple. As they worked slowly toward their seats, the older gentleman leans down to me with an extended hand and says, “Hi there !! I’m Chip.” I know he saw my immense smile as I shook his hand and replied, “Hi there !! I’m Steve.”

He settled into his seat and then leaned over. He saw my Xavier hat and sweatshirt and wryly he stated, “Steve, just want you to know I won’t be rooting for your team tonight.” I warmly replied, “That’s okay Chip. I’m not going to be cheering for yours either.” He chuckled and we started a conversation. He asked if I was from Indianapolis and if I was with my daughter. He told me about his attending every game he could and that he wished they would play better. He was incredibly welcoming and we talked as if we’d known each other for years. He was very approachable and naturally comfortable with me even though we had never met.

He didn’t view this encounter as something odd or forced. He genuinely wanted to connect and make sure that I enjoyed my time visiting “his” school. We talked throughout the entire game gently ribbing each other about the plays, the fouls, the crowd, the cheerleaders and the overall experience. It was magical. I lost my Dad just over a year ago and it was as if I was sitting with him one more time. It couldn’t have been better. We said “Goodbye” to each other at the very end of the game even though Xavier ended up with the win over his beloved Butler Bulldogs.

I thoroughly enjoyed Chip and was touched that he didn’t see me as a stranger. He would have greeted whoever was seated next to him. I’m sure of it. He wasn’t awkward or too forward. To him, it was the most natural interaction possible. It was honestly refreshing to meet Chip and have such a memorable time with him. I wouldn’t have classified him as an extrovert. He was purely someone who felt that it was better to know who was next to him.

It reminded me how people have an innate need to connect and belong. We want to share our lives together and not be strangers. Too often we put up invisible barriers or do our best to avoid each other. I know it may seem a bit naive or old-fashioned to be so open to meeting others as Chip did. However, I’d beg to disagree. I think it’s heartwarming and missing in today’s society.

I may never cross paths with Chip again in this life, but he reminded me to be open and willing to extend a greeting to those around me. It is something I plan to do on a regular basis. No strangers. Just new connections.

This Year . . .

2022. It’s a New Year and I have to be honest, I’m looking forward to what lies ahead. You see, when this post goes live, I’ll actually be a year older myself. It’s one of the things I’ve learned to accept in having a birthday so close to the holiday season. I used to be bothered by its proximity to the festivities, but now it just marks time.

I don’t mind getting older. Sure, I have more aches, pains, and creaks than when I was younger. That isn’t as enjoyable, but it’s expected. I’m inching ever so closely to have been on this planet for six decades (I’m within 2 years) which is astounding to me. This is fairly significant for my dad’s side of the family because we haven’t had a ton of “older” people. I hope I’m fortunate to break that cycle and set a new standard.

It’s intriguing to me to listen to others I work with, interact with, and observe. The uncertainty that gripped the world over two years ago is still as present as ever. The lack of patience, grace, and willingness to hear differing opinions still get more attention than those who regularly are practicing these behaviors. I’m not discouraged by this because I feel the positive side of people will always win out. It may just take some time and diligence.

I’ve never been a person who makes lists, resolutions or goals. I know that works for many and admire people who can create and follow these methods. I haven’t followed these approaches because I get caught up in interactions with others. I want to take each one in and cherish them. That sounds Utopian, but it’s true. Not every conversation goes well and there are times of conflict just as much as there are times of collaboration. That doesn’t concern me. Every conversation has the opportunity to be full, rich and interesting. I can’t get enough of them.

Interestingly enough, one of my dear friends, Garry Turner, caught my attention when people were wishing each other a Happy New Year. His message stood out to me in the midst of several folks sending warm sentiments. He wanted to wish me a year that would be “impactful.” That stuck with me and gave me the impetus I needed to look forward going into 2022.

Choosing to make an impact has a deep meaning for me. You see, you make an impact of some sort with every exchange you have with other folks. Those times can either be positive or negative. There’s no guarantee as to the outcome. However, you personally can take steps to hopefully have a positive result in your demeanor, tone and intentionality.

Having the knowledge that you can move behavior in a constructive way is being impactful. Valuing the other person’s time, opinion and circumstances are also factors in how successful you can be. You can’t predict or control how others will respond or how they’re entering the interaction. However, you have all of the control as to the direction conversations can take.

It’s not possible to know all that will come throughout this new year, and I’m good with that. Regardless of that, I’m going to be more mindful of making a positive impact on those I connect with. I may miss the mark at times, but I want those to be an exception. I hope you’ll join me so that this coming year is filled with impactful encounters. The more we have positive interactions, the more uncertainty that we have been moving through will begin to dissipate. Let’s go make an impact !!

A Christmas Wish . . .

As we are in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I wanted to capture my thoughts in a poem. Wishing you, your families and your friends only the best !! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a blessed holiday season to one and all.

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A Christmas Wish

Another year’s about to pass

          A trip around the sun

We always quip time flies so fast

          We’re always on the run

What have we learned this time around

          Through all the highs and lows

We keep yearning for some certainty

          Amidst the ebbs and flows

We’ve all felt joy and also loss

          We’ve seen things displaced

We wonder what emotions

          Are masked upon our face

There’s been so much exhaustion

          We all seek some release

We want to see each other

          We seek much needed peace

The world still has its problems

          Some folks don’t get along

I wish we’d come together

          For then we would be strong

My wish for you this season

          Is not that hard to do

Reach out to one another

          Connect, lift up, break through

Encourage folks each day

          Be a light that shatters dark

Let people know they matter

          Your impact leaves a mark

Avoid the trap of anger

          When conflict comes, show grace

Embrace that we are different

          And watch discord erase

Another trip’s about to start

          Another year begun

Let’s make this next year special

          And value everyone !!

Clear the Fog !!

Last week I was getting ready for work like I normally do. After having breakfast, I loaded up my laptop and jumped into my car to head to my office. I’ve been working in person (safely) for the majority of the pandemic.

(Quick aside – I am fortunate to work for a regional pizzeria company and I made the decision to be in person because our amazing Team Members have been in person every day. I wanted to make sure to support them. Now back to the post . . .)

I turned on my favorite morning radio show and 45 minutes later I pulled into the parking lot. There was nothing notable about my commute. But, that was the problem. I didn’t recall a single moment of the commute. No recollection of whether the traffic was heavy or not. No idea if someone cut me off or if I drove too close to someone myself. I don’t recall the weather or what was playing on the morning show. The only thing I remember is parking my car and heading into my office.

That’s not good. It was as if I was in some fog that clouded every facet of my morning. When I arrived at work, I couldn’t say I was “prepared” for the day at all. I was unconsciously going through the same pattern I had become accustomed to. Later that day, I felt like I was lost and the fog kept infringing on all that was going on.

Sound familiar? I don’t think I’m alone in this at all. I understand that people head to their jobs because they’re used to the patterns that define how they face their day. This is true whether you’re working in person or remotely. What are you missing when you’re mind is covered in fog? The truth is, you’re not sure.

The whole experience was unnerving and I was shaken about it when I headed out to lunch. I don’t want to be a person who goes through the motions of work, has convenient conversations, plods through project work, and then heads back home feeling I’ve had a “day.” Not a full day. Not a day that seemed to slip away, but a “day.”

I was determined to clear the fog that had so easily encapsulated my mind the very next day. I’m sure there are a myriad of methods and approaches that people postulate to clear one’s head. I’m also sure that following prescriptive steps works for some. I’m not that person. I knew I needed to break my pattern and I kept it simple. Before jumping into my car in the garage, I walked outside and looked around. I slowed down to take some deep breaths and listened to the birds chirping in the trees. The brisk winter breeze slapped at my cheeks and even brought some tears to my eyes.

I felt more centered and aware of my surroundings. I then committed to stay aware of all that I saw and heard. When I did this, it seemed like color entered my line of sight once again. I saw things that had been there for some time as if they were brand new. I enjoyed everything as I took them in. The fog dissipated right away. I felt more energized and eager to take on the day. I no longer felt trapped in a haze. The day was enjoyable right off the bat.

I was able to consider the items and situations I was going to face. I looked forward to interacting with everyone once again and I felt renewed. I know that I need to be intentional in taking steps like this so that brain fog doesn’t creep back in and fill my head. I’m sure that I could fall back into the mists very easily if I don’t stay on top of this.

I wanted to share this story because I have a feeling that there may be others around you who struggle with brain fog themselves. You may be the nudge that breaks through for someone else. They may not realize they are meandering themselves.

There is too much to life to be covered in layers of fog. Take the steps that work for you to make sure your mind stays clear and sharp, and be alert that you may be able to help others as well. Let’s clear a path so we can take in all that is ahead !!

Practice Gratitude Daily

We just celebrated Thanksgiving this past week and it was wonderful. We had a small gathering of my wife and daughter. Our son just started a new job, so he couldn’t get away to travel home. We enjoyed a traditional feast of turkey and a multitude of sides including a batch of old-fashioned ambrosia salad !!

We took time to turn off all of our devices and screens so we could just focus on each other. It was perfect . . . as a moment in time. In the midst of all of the ongoing turmoil and challenges facing society and each person in some form or another, we gave thanks. It’s intriguing that we set aside one day in 365 to give thanks. One. Day. I’m not blind to the fact that some feel they can’t even enjoy this one day because of all that may be facing them.

It takes an effort to express gratitude. It seems to come naturally for some, but for most of us, there needs to be a defined focus to break through the muck and darkness that we continue to swim through. This is a shame because there is so much to be grateful for personally. We have a chance to be the light that breaks through the shadows people walk in, but it will cost you something. It’s the one thing that we feel is already scarce and fleeting each day. Our time.

It’s been proven that something becomes a habit if you practice it daily for at least 21 days. As small of a hurdle as this is, we perceive it to be an insurmountable mountain. There is no mountain. The obstacle is only the small voice in our head that says that we should be shackled to other things that “matter.” What if the action that “mattered” to you was expressing gratitude to others around you?

How would someone else’s day go if you said “Hello” and then actually stayed put to see how they’re doing? What would their day be like if you celebrated with them about an accomplishment in their family’s life? Would you see different outcomes in your interactions if you complimented and encouraged someone for their work and effort?

I think you know the answer to these questions because when someone else did this for you, it made your day brighter. How much “time” do questions and conversations like this take? We don’t even know because we either think doing this is daunting or a waste of our precious time. We couldn’t be more wrong.

Trust me on this. The time you spend investing in the lives of others is the most productive use of your time possible. It’s time to turn the tide of how people interact in our homes, our neighborhoods, and our workplaces. Instead of falling into the muck of negativity, pause, breathe and express gratitude about something, anything. Fight the urge to follow the surge of uncertainty and be an anchor of positivity as an alternative. It may give those you encounter the brief respite they needed and you didn’t even know it.

Daily gratitude isn’t about you. It’s about others. This week start a new habit that will be fulfilling in ways you can’t even yet fathom. Switch from setting aside one day per year to be thankful for everything, to practicing daily gratitude so that every day is filled with at least one grateful occurrence. See what happens . . .