“Mommy, look over there. There is a rainbow!” said my son, Matteo. I said, “I see it honey!” Then, he said, “Mommy, a plane is going into the rainbow!” I said, “It does look like that, huh?” (As a plane was passing by) He then started naming all the colors he saw with great detail and fascination.
I was so taken by the rainbow’s impact on him! This interaction made me think about my common practice, or even obsession with noticing the small changes within people and within organizations. Ever wonder why seeing rainbows aren’t as exciting to us as we age?
Often, as leaders, we skip over the smallest of changes in our people, either tiny steps forward or tiny steps backward. This is usually because we get so bogged down in details. It is in the very small movement in either direction where our team members move closer to their greatness, or further away from what they were meant to be.
In the workplace, I always had a reputation for recognizing everyone whether they reported to me or not. I would notice when they went over and above for customers, or co-workers. I would notice if they seemed more confident in a meeting or on a task, I would offer words of appreciation to many, often. To some, this seemed to be a little over board.
To those on the receiving end, they felt cared for, important and safe.
Why did I make this such an issue? How did I have the type of time to be that person in the workplace? Was it about making me look good? These were some of the questions that would often surface. To help you understand my reason for doing this, I want to share some background.
Early in my life, I didn’t really feel appreciated for who I was. My own family rejected the person I turned out to be. There were some rough dynamics inside and outside of my home, and I did not always feel like a priority to anyone. As an only child, I was left to decipher the adults in my life and notice the tiny changes in them as a means of survival.
Because of this, I focus on and notice the smallest of changes in people and in group dynamics. I used to think of this practice as a burden, but now I see it as a gift. That is because I use it to help people and organizations make tiny shifts for big results. I choose to use this gift for the benefit of others and with a positive mindset.
As leaders, we must be on watch for the shifts in the people we lead. If not, we may miss our opportunity to see the rainbow inside of them. We may live our lives leading people we don’t know and have very little positive impact.
Do you notice the colors of the rainbow surrounding your people and your culture? Worse yet, are you clueless to the ways they are moving backward?
Take the time to pay attention to the little things, recognize those for the work that they do and make small tweaks along the way. You will never regret it!
Thank you for reading this article. I certainly hope it resonates with you. If you think others would benefit from the message, please SHARE it and LIKE it. As always, I would love to hear how this relates to your experiences as well.