Justin Ricklefs


A Culture of Celebration

Throughout life I’ve been guilty of being too trusting and too optimistic.  Not dealing in reality and wanting to avoid conflict.  I’ve been called a sunshine pumper and people have made fun of the rose-colored glasses I always seem to wear.

And I’m sure those labels are true.

However, I’ll argue that we celebrate far too little.  At work and at home.


Too often, when we win, our default response is “OK, what’s next” instead of taking two seconds to celebrate the current accomplishment.  It would be tremendous if we started celebrating more, specifically at work.

It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged party, but here are five ways to bring some rose-colored lenses to your offices:

1 – High-fives.  Let’s admit it, the work hug is incredibly awkward.  But the handshake is too formal.  When a deal gets done or a colleague gets an award for something, give them a high five.

2 – Say “that’s awesome”.  Could come in conjunction with your high-five but tell people that what they did was awesome.  Then watch them smile.

3 – Trust old school advice, “if you don’t have something nice to say..”.  Keep your mouth shut if it’s going to cut down, back stab, or disrespect.

4 – Say something nice.  On the flip side of number 3, if something positive is on your tongue, verbalize it.  If your team is used to strict marching orders and tough news, inject life into them by actually saying something nice.  Do this in front of others, in a staff meeting for example.

5 – Send encouraging emails and copy superiors.  If someone on your team got a great deal done or went above and beyond for a client, send them a specific email and copy their superiors.  You’d be surprised how long people will hold onto (and cherish) those emails.  In a sea of critical and cynical correspondence, your encouraging and congratulatory email will be a lifeboat to them.

Celebrate.  Big things and little things.  It’s worth it.

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