jen spencer coaches

I love to watch you play…
12 13 13, 4:00 pm
Filed under: General, Growth + Development, How-To's, Thought-Provoking

A few weeks ago, a friend shared an article on her blog that highlighted the attributes of a great sports parent. 

“College athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response: ‘I love to watch you play.‘”

Instead of the parents instantly critiquing how the kids played, those precious words “I love to watch you play” allowed for the players to be present in these shared moments of joy and acknowledgement from their parents.

In my experience, acknowledgements have the potential to be really powerful and are highly underutilized.  Acknowledging isn’t just about thanking someone for what they do for you. It can be so much bigger than that.  It’s about recognizing the gifts in those around you, and enjoying watching and learning from them when they are at their best.

Acknowledgments can come in the moment, or after-the-fact. They can create a new awareness for someone, be a great reminder of things to focus on, or even propel someone into action in a particular area. And we’ve all heard the adage about giving and receiving. The act of acknowledging someone’s talents—in work or at play—can feel just as good as getting acknowledged yourself.

In the chaos of wrapping up 2013, it’s easy to lose perspective about the gifts we have and experience in others every day. Yet when we force ourselves to slow down, the holidays are a perfect time to remember to share more love, be more grateful and to acknowledge those around you in your life and work.

So here is a relatively easy (and quick way) to spread more love and acknowledgement this holiday season.  
1. Stop and think about the important people in your life and work—the people that help you produce and succeed or just feel great.  What do they do well that really makes a difference for the world, for you, your company, your client?  How do they share their talents in a unique and meaningful way?

2. Write it down. Be specific.  Perhaps it even starts out with “I love to watch you _______.”

3. Share. For the person that doesn’t get a lot of face time with you, try to do the acknowledgement in-person.  Handwritten notes (big fan!) or emails are also great ways to share.  But no matter how you tell them, be present when you communicate your message.  Picture that person in your mind and send great energy their way as you write the message.  This isn’t an area to skimp on your focus.  A small bit goes a long way.

These 15-30 minutes of thinking and action could not only make someone else’s day, they can make yours, too.

To up the ante, take the 15-day challenge.  Give an acknowledgement a day for 15 days.  Partners, spouses, friends, co-workers, bosses, the barrista at your local coffee shop that always smiles your way, the list goes on and on.  And, just maybe you could be the recipient of your own acknowledgement for a few of those days.

Be clear. Love big.  And, celebrate your year of hard work, perspective, and life!

Happy Holidays,

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