The Love Sandwich

So a few weeks ago, I went to a conference. The conference blew my mind for various reasons I haven’t had time to write down here yet. It was humbling, amazing and full of information that was both brain-draining and brain-energizing.

A lot of it has stuck with me for several weeks now, but my mind keeps wandering back to this one point – in the middle of it all, Julie from Generis said something about presenting information to people in a “love sandwich.” It got a lot of laughs, but then later on in the day, she explained what she meant – basically that you should give people criticism between compliments and encouragement. You get it? That makes a “love sandwich.”  How true that is, too!

This has been an unusually stressful and complicated season at my job. There have been a lot of challenges and changes, and there is a part of me that is simply exhausted and stretched out and…tired. Because of some responsibility shifts, I seem to get a lot of complaints, demands and other “stuff” in my inbox, on my voicemail and at my desk on a regular basis. While I can deal with most of it most of the time, I’ve come to realize that I need a little more of it paired with a positive attitude, a helping hand and a compliment or some encouragement.

I hate to sound needy, but I’m much more likely to go out of my way to help someone or do a project if they have said thank you in the past, or would do the same for me. I know that sounds selfish, maybe even a little rude, but it’s where I am right now. I know I can’t please everyone all the time (try as I might) and I will disappoint people (more than I would like). I also have come to realize that I am wired for positive reinforcement. A smile and a thank-you go a long way with me.

I don’t expect things to change as a result of this post. Mostly, I’m just becoming aware of who I am as a person and the way I interact with others. I know I need to be better about NOT complaining. I also know I need to be better about giving out compliments and criticism in their proper dosages. For every one negative/needy/demanding thing said, at least two compliments/thank you kind of things need to go along with it.

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