Have you ever thought about the energy level of the people you work with in February versus May? The level of energy and spirit is entirely different. For those of us who have worked in schools, it is especially evident after the winter holidays and before spring holidays. It is like a no-man’s land. So, what do we do as leaders? It’s not like we can seek shelter until the climate changes. This is the time when it becomes most important to help the individuals we lead or work with to connect to purpose.

Why do I do this work?
What encouraged me to do this work?
Why is this work important?

This is an opportunity to facilitate the connection of mind and heart for and with our teams. This is also the time to recognize people for their good work. “Good job” is not enough. Recognition, especially during this time, is most powerful when it helps our team connect to purpose.

February is a time to get specific about what good work looks like. In a meeting, you might say, “Sarah, you are always so positive and helpful to our customers. Yesterday I observed you with Mr. Wallace. You smiled, greeted him by name and immediately asked ‘How could you help?’ The exchange went so well, and you were able to solve Mr. Wallace’s issue quickly. I know you were about to leave for an appointment but made the choice to stay and assist. Thank you for being a great example of who we are.”

What does this exchange between Sarah and the leader do? Sarah feels great! This connection and recognition also sets the expectation for others. The leader has explained what “right behavior” looks like for this team. This is how I want all of us to treat our customers and each other. That message is conveyed through the specific recognition.

Is your team in the February Funk? How can you incorporate recognition to help them connect to their purposeful work?

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