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When was the last time you Celebrated?

That’s right – how long has it been since you celebrated?

I don’t mean go-out-on-the-town-and-spend-a-fortune celebration …

I mean even a simple pause in your day when you gave yourself a pat on the back.

And if you work in a team (whether you are the leader according to the organisation chart or your business card), when was the last time the team celebrated an accomplishment?

In our now time-poor, rat-race kind of lives, it seems we’ve lost the art of celebration. We’ve come to equate ‘celebrating’ with an event, a specific ‘thing’ that involves money and time (preferably several hours).

Yet, it’s the often the easy, simple and ‘small’ (in terms of time spent) celebrations that can create the strongest impact. More importantly, it’s these moments in time that sustain us, re-energise us and equip us with the ability to move forward in a more positive and focused way.

The late and much-respected Stephen Covey said this about the true value Quality Time: “Spending time doing things that are ‘Important’ builds our capacity to handle the things that are ‘Urgent’ that come up in our lives.” (from his book, First Things First).

In my book, Celebrating is Important, Crises are Urgent – so if I want to be as equipped as possible to be able to deal with the crises … I’ll celebrate every chance I get!

In this same book, Stephen also said: “We get a temporary high from solving urgent and important crises. Then when the importance isn’t there, the urgency fix is so powerful we are drawn to do anything urgent, just to stay in motion. People expect us to be busy, overworked. It’s become a status symbol in our society—if we’re busy, we’re important; if we’re not busy, we’re almost embarrassed to admit it. Busyness is where we get our security. It’s validating, popular, and pleasing. It’s also a good excuse for not dealing with the first things in our lives.”

So, if you and your team are ready to celebrate, here are 5 quick celebration ideas to kick start your momentum!

  1. Over morning coffee, have everyone thank someone else in the team for something they’ve done recently that’s benefitted the team, a client, a stakeholder or any individual in the team. No need for lengthy, prepared speeches – a heart-felt and sincere acknowledgement is what you’re after.
  2. Start Monday mornings with a quick round of Last Week’s Wins. Nothing is too small to mention – and it doesn’t matter who says what. What matters is that the team has their attention focused on the good stuff that happened that would be easily forgotten if not highlighted at the start of the week.
  3. Have a whiteboard or flip chart hung near the coffee/tea facilities and begin creating a culture where people can either (a) make a note of their wins to share with the team, or (b) say thanks to someone for their contribution.
  4. Organise a multi-cultural BYO lunch where team members bring a food item from their country of origin to share. During lunch, weave the conversation around to a discussion about (a) why it’s great to come from <fill in country of origin here>, or (b) why it’s great to live in Australia … or (c) why it’s great to work with the <fill in department name> of <fill in organisation name here>.
  5. Print some ‘thumbs up’ cards. These could literally be a picture of a hand in a ‘thumbs up’ gesture (be aware of potential cultural sensitivities within your team about this gesture, though), or could have a variety of words/phrases on them, such as “well done!”, “good job!”, “nice work!”. Distribute cards to all team members for them to be able to give to other team mates or simply leave on their desks as a surprise.

So … what are you waiting for? Go do some celebrating!

I guarantee it will lift morale, mood and productivity.


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  • That’s right – how long has it been since you celebrated?

    I don’t mean go-out-on-the-town-and-spend-a-fortune celebration …

    I mean even a simple pause in your day when you gave yourself a pat on the back.

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