Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 4, Issue 52;   December 29, 2004: Appreciations

Appreciations

by

When we take time to express to others our appreciation for what they do for us, a magical thing happens.

Another year is ending, and I'm suddenly aware that I've been writing Point Lookout for four years. This issue is my 209th. When I recall how anxious I once was about having enough to say every week, I wonder what I was so worried about. My idea file keeps growing.

Thank You!Doing anything at all for four years rarely happens by chance — it takes intention, determination, and most of all, it takes support from other people. So this week seemed like a good time to express my appreciation for the support you all have given me.

To readers
Point Lookout now (December 2004) has almost 2,000 subscribers. Despite flooded inboxes and hectic interrupt-driven days, many of you spend five or ten minutes a week reading Point Lookout. I appreciate the gift of your time.
To forwarders
Express your appreciation
to those who support
what you do
Motivated by an idea or an insight, and caring about friends, relatives, or colleagues, some of you forward Point Lookout to others, and some of them eventually subscribe. Word of mouth is the most valuable form of marketing there is. Word of mouth isn't for sale, and I appreciate you for passing the word.
To recommenders
At my Web site, on the pages that contain archived back issues, there's a recommend-to-a-friend link that lets readers send articles to friends. I know that when you recommend an article to a friend, you're putting yourself out there, and I appreciate that vote of confidence.
To change-of-address requesters
When you change companies or service providers, many of you send me change-of-address requests. For publishers of free email newsletters, there is no higher compliment, and I appreciate you for sending address changes at what is no doubt a hectic time of transition.
To commenters
I receive a steady stream of comments and feedback from readers, usually about specific articles, but sometimes more general than that. I appreciate the time it takes to frame your thoughts and send me an email message, whether it's a criticism, a suggestion, or encouragement.
To international subscribers
I live and write in the US, in Boston, and — based on email addresses — Point Lookout goes to subscribers in 39 other countries. The actual number of outside-of-the-US addresses is probably even more. I appreciate the Internet for helping me to reach you wherever you are, and I appreciate your willingness to read what I write, despite my writing in what is for many of you a foreign language.

And now, if you like, it can be your turn to express appreciations. Think of something you do often — every day or every week — something that's important to you. Are there people in your life who have made that possible? Maybe you know who they are, and maybe they're close to you. Or maybe you've never met them. Express your appreciation to them for the things they do that make what you do possible and rewarding. You'll feel great, they'll feel great, and you'll both find ways to make it all keep happening. Go to top Top  Next issue: On Beginnings  Next Issue

Rick BrennerThe article you've been reading is an archived issue of Point Lookout, my weekly newsletter. I've been publishing it since January, 2001, free to all subscribers, over the Web, and via RSS. You can help keep it free by donating either as an individual or as an organization. You'll receive in return my sincere thanks — and the comfort of knowing that you've helped to propagate insights and perspectives that can help make our workplaces a little more human-friendly. More

Your comments are welcome

Would you like to see your comments posted here? rbrensMSbpXNCdQtmVgQtner@ChacDDqZCHrqAQwwDXvToCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.

About Point Lookout

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.

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Related articles

More articles on Emotions at Work:

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"If we promote you, we'll have to promote all of them, too." This "slippery-slope" tactic for winning debates works by exploiting our fears. Another in a series about rhetorical tricks that push our buttons.
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Diversity of perspectives is one of the great strengths of teams. Ideas contend and through contending they improve each other. In this process, criticism of ideas sometimes gets personal. How can we critique ideas safely, without hurting each other, while keeping focused on the work?
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Feeling distrusted and undervalued, we often attribute the problem to the behavior of others — to the micromanager who might be mistreating us. We tend not to examine our own contributions to the difficulty. Are you micromanaging yourself?
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Influencing others can be difficult. Even more difficult is defining a set of approaches to influencing that almost all of us consider ethical. Here's a framework that makes a good starting point.
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Being asked for advice can be an affirming experience, but actually giving advice can sometimes entail risk. How can this happen, and what choices do we have?

See also Emotions at Work and Effective Communication at Work for more related articles.

Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

Balancing talk time and the value of the contributionComing March 29: Virtual Blowhards
Controlling meeting blowhards is difficult enough in face-to-face meetings, but virtual meetings present next-level problems, because techniques that work face-to-face are unavailable. Here are eight tactics for controlling virtual blowhards. Available here and by RSS on March 29.
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Ramblers are people who can't get to the point. They ramble, they get lost in detail, and listeners can't follow their logic, if there is any. How can you deal with ramblers while maintaining civility and decorum? Available here and by RSS on April 5.

Coaching services

I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenibhUdXKmIhUsteTaner@ChacvANHhRXtWuDhYUpooCanyon.com or (617) 491-6289, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.

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Changing How We Change: The Essence of Agility
MasteChanging How We Change: The Essence of Agilityry of the ability to adapt to unpredictable and changing circumstances is one way of understanding the success of Agile methodologies for product development. Applying the principles of Change Mastery, we can provide the analogous benefits in a larger arena. By exploring strategies and tactics for enhancing both the resilience and adaptability of projects and portfolios, we show why agile methodologies are so powerful, and how to extend them beyond product development to efforts of all kinds. Read more about this program. Here are some upcoming dates for this program:

Conflict Resolution Skills for Leaders
ConflConflict Resolution Skills for Leadersict is inherent in collaborative work. When conflict is constructive, it produces better outcomes. When it's destructive, it can be an insurmountable obstacle to success. In this program, we explore the connections between the outcomes of collaboration and conflict in both of its forms. And we emphasize the skills needed most by leaders. The leader's task is to manage conflict so as to ensure that the group achieves its objective with its capacity to collaborate intact, or even enhanced. Rick Brenner shows team leaders and team sponsors the techniques they need to manage team conflict for relationship safety and better outcomes. Read more about this program. Here's an upcoming date for this program:

Influencing Outcomes Without Authority
Your Influencing Outcomes Without Authorityability to influence others — whether upward, downward, laterally, or within a team — always depends on both the quality of your relationships with the people you influence, and on your perception and their perception of your personal power. In this program, Rick Brenner shows you the techniques for making things happen not by using formal organizational power, but by using informal, personal power. Read more about this program. Here's an upcoming date for this program:

Strategies for Leading Teams in Hard Times
When Strategies for Leading Teams in Hard Timesa project team is on task, the contributions of leaders are important, and little noticed. Sometimes the team encounters unexpected difficulty, or requirements change, or budgets are reduced, or any of a number of other things might happen. In these cases, the leader must make or facilitate decisions about how to respond or how to revise the plan. We get through it somehow. Hard times are something else altogether. Despondency, disillusionment, resource shortages, unexpected and severe failure of the plan, and toxic conflict can erode morale. How can leaders deal with such situations? Read more about this program. Here's an upcoming date for this program:

Strategies for Technical Debt: A Workshop for Enterprise Leaders
TechnTechnical Debt Management for Enterprise Leadersical debt is more than mere IT jargon. It's a metaphor that refers to the accumulation of technical artifacts that really ought to be retired, replaced, rewritten, re-implemented, or, if absent, created. We can find technical debt in almost any system, including those that seem to be working well. So what's the problem? The problem is the "interest charges." Systems carrying technical debt are more difficult to maintain, more difficult to extend or enhance, and more difficult to use, than they would be if we "retired" the debt. This engaging and eye-opening program points the way to a path that leads your organization out of technical debt, to make it more adaptable, more transformable, and more agile. Read more about this program. Here's an upcoming date for this program:

Creating High Performance Virtual Teams
Many Creating High Performance Virtual Teamspeople experience virtual teams as awkward, slow, and sometimes frustrating. Even when most team members hail from the same nation or culture, and even when they all speak the same language, geographic dispersion or the presence of employees from multiple enterprises is often enough to exclude all possibility of high performance. The problem is that we lead, manage, and support virtual teams in ways that are too much like the way we lead, manage, and support co-located teams. In this program, Rick Brenner shows you how to change your approach to leading, managing, and supporting virtual teams to achieve high performance using Simons' Four Spans model of high performance. Read more about this program. Here's an upcoming date for this program:

The Race to the South Pole: Ten Lessons for Project Managers
On 14The Race to the Pole: Ten Lessons for Project Managers December 1911, four men led by Roald Amundsen reached the South Pole. Thirty-five days later, Robert F. Scott and four others followed. Amundsen had won the race to the pole. Amundsen's party returned to base on 26 January 1912. Scott's party perished. As historical drama, why this happened is interesting enough, but to organizational leaders, business analysts, project sponsors, and project managers, the story is fascinating. Lessons abound. Read more about this program. Here's an upcoming date for this program:

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