How can I be helpful in challenging times and good times?
The one thing to remember in good times is to Praise.
People always welcome praise, but it becomes far more meaningful when it is linked to concrete examples. “Great presentation, well done,” is nice feedback to receive, but “Great presentation; your explanation of how this impacts our customer base will help us improve customer loyalty,” pinpoints exactly how someone’s contribution benefits the company. Giving specific, targeted feedback tells your team that you’re paying attention.
The same goes for providing constructive feedback on areas of improvement: keep the feedback personalized and actionable. Consider the golden ratio of 5:1– if you deliver five positive takeaways to one negative piece of feedback, people won’t feel overwhelmed with criticism. The goal should be to help people grow and develop, so providing ongoing, timely praise is crucial.
The one thing to remember in challenging times is to have Faith.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
These are beautiful verses, but I believe many miss the true power of this scripture because they stop at verse 7. Check out the warning in the subsequent verses (Philippians 4:8-9):
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Faith is hard to incorporate in life. I recently saw this story on one of our dealer’s Facebook posts. It represents faith in action in challenging times or eight straight days of not giving up when all things pointed to saying, “forget it.”
Shared from Joshua Golla’s Facebook. Edited for space.
“On Wednesday March 18th we had a 5-week-old bull calf disappear from the field. No trace of what happened. His mother bawled for him for two days to no avail. On Saturday when we checked the cows his mother ran around the field bawling and we followed her (they usually know where to look and will tip you off if you watch them) however she stopped in the field and appeared to start grazing again. We walked every fence row and checked every brush pile, no luck.
We began to assume that coyotes had carried him off. I found it hard to believe that a 40-50-pound coyote would carry off a 150-pound calf and not leave a trace. So, each time I would check the cows I would look for that calf. However, life was moving on as we came to grips with the idea that the calf was not coming back. Well, this morning when I checked on the cows I happened to drive through the area where his mother was “grazing” on Saturday and noticed what I thought was a huge groundhog hole. It was so big I backed up to see how deep the hole was and I noticed something moving in the bottom. I parked the tractor and got off to take a closer look. Well, after 8 days, I had found that calf! He was 8-feet deep in a sink hole in the middle of the pasture. His mother was not really grazing on Saturday but trying to show us where her baby was! So, I made a quick phone call for reinforcements, 20 minutes later David Witt arrived with ropes, a shovel and a ladder! I opened the hole wider and put the ladder down in it. I climbed in with the calf and slipped a rope around his chest. We had planned to tube feed him with electrolytes, but he had so much energy we decided to just get him out of the hole. As soon as the calf got to the opening of the hole he began flailing trying to climb out and kicked me in the side of my head. By the time I got out of the hole the calf had slipped out of the rope and was chasing the herd across the pasture trying to nurse any cow that would stand still! He finally found his mother who wasn’t 100% sure she wanted him to nurse. However, once he got ahold of her udder he wasn’t letting go. Her bag was swollen from 8 days without a calf nursing but in less than 10 minutes it was empty and tight up against her belly. The calf had a huge milk mustache and his mother warmed up to him quickly. She began to bawl with excitement and used her chin to hold him against her like she was hugging him. It was clear she was grateful to have him back!”
It is always hard to have faith in challenging times because things could end sadly just as easy as they could end happily. However, faith finds things worthy of praise no matter what.
No time more than the last month, and I am afraid the next month, will test us more on both praise and faith than this virus. No matter what, keep praising and have faith. It will all be fine. I promise.