Monday, March 19, 2012

Reading "5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace (II)

Continued to read the chapter... next one, Words of Affirmation...
It highlighted the following as the most common settings in which words of affirmation can be spoken effectively:
  • Personal, one-to-one
  • Praise in front of others
  • Written affirmation
  • Public affirmation
I must count myself lucky that I had the honor to receive affirmation through the above channels, and definitely, that brought me to cloud nine!

Not one, but a few of my bosses (over the past 10 years) had reaffirmed that, especially during the annual work review, I'm a valuable asset of the organisation. Those words, till today, remain printed in my mind.

While some have this stereotyped notion that Asians usually reserve their praises, I'm fortunate that my bosses are generous to praise, it's an acknowledgement of the effort that brought about the desired outcomes. And of course, it's not just verbal, but also written forms.

Thankful for the acknowledgement... and tells me, yes, you are doing well, on the right track.
On the other hand, is this enough to keep me going?

What else to be done to consistently send the same message out, so that it would not be seen as a choreographed kind of 'pats on the shoulder'? What has made me think otherwise? One would be surprise why one could be so 'ungrateful'???? From another point of view, it's just a means to tell one that you are doing the right things (i.e. stating the fact), and so... "I" actually deserve it!

I think one important thing is, those who give the affirmation has to be consistent in sending the messages and in the 'appropriate manner', and how "other" messages are conveyed? Inconsistency kills the ground work and good work done. It would be misinterpreted as being hypocrite! One one hand, one is 'made' to believe of being 'valued', on the other hand, one's 'destiny' (or what one would do) lies in the supervisor's hands to decide how to manipulate the resources? No one likes to feel like a chip on the chess board! That's how one is made to believe that one has been "valued"??????

Alignment in messaging and one's action matters!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


The "retreat" was a means to bring the colleagues in the team closer, creating opportunity to engage us in activities together and getting to know each other better.
It's heartening to learn how others have benefited from the groundwork carried out so far despite of the challenges that I have to managed (physically and emotionally) over the past two and a half months... The pat on the shoulder is definitely very encouraging... Good work carried out, though, if my scope of work has been more well managed, more impactful work could be done...

Reading "5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace" (I)

Bought this book and had the read the introduction (only) a couple of months ago.

Several points to note:
  • The number one factor in job satisfaction is not the amount of pay, but whether or not the individuals feels appreciated and valued for the work they do.
  • In Chapter it, one key phrase is "Why "Just say Thanks" doesn't work?" Well, what matters is how it's being communicated. The "How" is important... as mentioned a couple pages later, "we will not feel encouraged unless the message is communicated through our "primary language". That also explained why many employees are not encouraged when they receive a reward as part of the company's recognition plan - it doesn't speak in their preferred language of appreciation.
  • Employees are more likely to "burn out" when they do not feel appreciated or emotionally supported by their supervisors
  • The concept of encouraging colleagues and showing appreciation to coworkers was valued by individuals in virtually all roles and settings.
  • People want to encourage and show appreciation to those with whom they work regardless of the organisational role they have.
  • People in the workplace need to feel appreciation in order for them to enjoy their jobs, do their best work, continue working over the long haul.
The above are extracted from the first 2 chapters, which make a lot of sense.

"Job satisfaction is not the amount of pay". Based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, one's basic needs have to be taken care of before moving on towards seeking and (eventually) attaining the "nirvana" (spiritual needs). In today's society, we can't possibly just renounce everything to become a sage! (Though I wish I could). There are basics of others to be taken care of... unless one is no longer tied to any relationships! (especially family's!). However, once we are capable of ensuring the "basic" (material) needs are taken care of, certainly "Job satisfaction", I would say, would be more loosely linked to the amount of pay. One would start turn to devoting time, effort and energy to derive satisfaction from what one is doing... that's also where the 'joy' starts to generate. I think, the thought of "I don't mind doing extra" kicks in...

The next point about communication... the "How" is important... and it determines how effective the message goes to the recipient of the message. "How" - in way manner that the recipient catches it... and "How" it has touched the recipient's heart. I think, for all the appreciating words that we wanted to communicate, we want the recipient to be able to feel our sincerity and that the words come from the bottom of our heart! Hence, being about to make the connection matters! Some people have powerful vocabulary, some do not. While those who are strong in their languages of course would be able to express their appreciation well through words that are very beautifully weaved together! However, for those who are not gifted in languages, I feel that they are still able to express it well, though it could be of a few simple words, it's the sincerity that you make the recipient feel it. That's impactful - 尽在不言中,用心去体会!

Another point to note is, there exists a "reciprocate" mechanism in this whole "appreciation" process. While one feel appreciated when affirmed of the good "deeds"/ works carried out, being in the shoes to show appreciation draws another level of satisfaction because one is aware, able to recognise and acknowledges (that he/she is fortunate enough to) what they are enjoying the good things showered upon them.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

First Blog Post in 2012

No, I've not made any mistake. This is my very first blog post this year, in this personal blog... checking back the last post, it was exactly 3 months ago! I can't believe myself! I consider myself being a avid and active blogger, and this the place where I would pour my thoughts, where I chew and digest who's going on in my head!

Why! Why! Why! Why such a 'long' break? It's not that I could not even afford a short half an hour like what I did in the past just to consolidate and pen down my thoughts. What matters it's really the mood and the energy that I could focus to pen down my thoughts.

Of yes, mood matters! What affects one's moods? Well, many many factors! One of them is satisfaction, which has surfaced more strongly over these months. Being able to draw satisfaction from what I'm doing is becomingly more important. It is frustrating when one is overloaded with some much things that the key priority has slipped into nowhere! Time is the limiting factor. It becomes frustrating when I am unable to to leverage on the opportunities while there are right before my eyes, because, a large proportion of time has been assigned to areas that I should not have put in so much time to do (if I refer to my job designation), hence resulting little or no time to do what I am suppose to do!

Well done! If I were wonder woman, perhaps, I could create wonders by doubling up the amount of time that I have so that I could perform the role of a teacher taking full load, at the same time, manage the scope that I was suppose to do, as well as managing a team that 'unfortunately' landed up with me!

What I ended up, after 10 solid weeks in the 1st academic term is being "extremely TIRED"!
Now I want to ask
  • "What's my Priority?" 
  • "Am I drawing satisfaction from what I'm bogged down with?"