Each person has an invisible bucket. It is either being constantly emptied or filled, depending on our interactions with others. When our bucket is full, we feel on top of the world. When it’s empty, we feel terrible.
Each of us also has an invisible dipper. We can use that dipper to fill people’s buckets by the positive things we say or do, which in turn, fills our own bucket. Sometimes we can use that dipper to dip from other people’s buckets by saying and doing things that decrease their self-worth and self-esteem, which in reality, affects how we feel about ourselves.
How do you feel when Monday mornings roll around? Do you feel excited about your new work week, or the exact opposite? Would you rather stay home or head into the office. Much of how we feel has a lot to do with our interactions, not just at work, but on a daily basis.
In How Full is Your Bucket? Positive Strategies for Work and Life, authors Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton opine that our lives are shaped by our interactions with others. Whether it’s a long conversation with a trusted friend or a brief encounter with a cashier at the corner market, every interaction makes a difference. Rath and Clifton’s research shows that the results of our encounters are rarely neutral. They are almost always positive or negative. The accumulation of these interactions over a lifetime can profoundly affect our lives
Below are five strategies outlined from Rath and Clifton’s book. When they are put into practice they will make a difference organization-wide and change the lives of managers, supervisors, and employees.
1. Prevent Bucket Dipping
Managers and supervisors regularly ask themselves if they are adding to someone’s bucket or if they are taking from it by how they speak and interact with them. Is it positive or negative? Remember, how you interact with others will determine how they will act with you. So be kind and pleasant and your employees will reciprocate.
2. Shine a Light on What is Right
Don’t solely focus on the negative. Spend the majority of your time focusing on the power of what is right. Whatever you spend more time giving attention to is what you will get in return. If you shine a light on the positive things your employees do, they will do more of it.
3. Make Best Friends
Why is this important? According to Rath’s and Clifton’s research, people with best friends at work have better safety records, receive higher customer satisfaction scores, and increase workplace productivity. One way to make friends is to be a friend. Do for someone else, what you want done to you. Write down a list of things you can do for other people, then go do it!
4. Give Unexpectedly
According to a recent Gallup Poll, the vast majority of people prefer gifts that are unexpected. An unexpected gift doesn’t have to be tangible. You can give by saying “please” and “thank you”. Managers and supervisors, look for opportunities to give gifts to others out of the blue. Even a smile can be an unexpected gift. When you give with no expectation to receive, it contributes to not only the other person’s happiness, but also to your overall well-being and satisfaction. The law of reciprocation says that what you give out, you will get in return, so when you give to others, other people must give back to you. This law is never wrong.
5. Reverse the Golden Rule
“Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.” This means that not all people like to receive the same things in the same way. Some people like public recognition, while others do not. Discover your employee’s preferences and intentionally recognize them in the way they like best.
Featured photo credit: Bucket and Gulls/ Jeffrey via flickr.com