The Power of Written Praise ⋆ Politicrossing
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The Power of Written Praise

Writing a letter of praise is a positive gesture, and, collectively, a building block to a healthy and sustainable society

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In this day in age, when it’s so easy to file a grievance or slam some group on social media, for balance alone, it’s ultra-important to write letters of praise when someone or some organization does an excellent job.

Yes, it’s quite noticeable when something goes wrong, but how often do we just skip over those things that go well?

The letter that you write and send, usually shared by those who receive it, does more good than you might presume. It is beneficial to you, to acknowledge those who have served you well. It is a reminder to you personally, that many vendors and service providers do an outstanding job and that too often we take this for granted.

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Can I Give you a Lift?

Here are two examples of letters I’ve written over the years. The first, via mail, is 19 years old, before the widespread use of cell phones, and before Uber and Lyft:

May 6, 2002

Commissioner
Taxi and Limousine Commission
40 Rector Street
New York NY 10006

Dear Commissioner,

In my hour of need, New York City taxi driver Shahnur Talukder stepped up in a big way. Shahnur has only been in the U.S. for one year, hailing from Bangladesh with his wife and child.

When my pre-arranged van pick-up fail to arrive early yesterday morning as scheduled, I suddenly found myself without a ride to JFK airport and no one willing to accept payment by credit card. I had, perhaps unwisely, spent all of my cash the day before, but went to bed with my van reservation phoned in well in advance.

Following the van service letdown, I had no idea that New York taxis do not accept a credit card (as they do throughout North Carolina.) Six drivers out of six said “sorry.”

When I hailed Shahnur’s cab, his first action was to take me to a bank to see if I could get a cash advance on my credit card. I didn’t know the pin number, however, as I had not conducted such a transaction previously. The time was slipping away and my margin evaporating for getting to the airport on time.

Without prompting, Shahnur decided to drive me to the airport. He trusted me to mail him the fare (which I did, along with several gifts). New York has many heroes these days and, for me, Shahnur Talukderof is one of them.

Yours truly,
Jeff Davidson

cc: NY Times, Office of the Mayor, WSJ, Shahnur Talukderof

 

And Just Recently…

I wrote the following days ago and sent it via email. The performance of the equipment that I had left out in the rain so astounded me, that I knew I had to write to the manufacturer.

April 26, 2021

Product Manager
Olympus VN 7200
[email protected]

Dear Product Manager,

I wish to report a tremendous success story. By mistake, I left my pocket dictator, an Olympus VN 7200, on my porch and due to the strong wind, a torrential rain poured onto the pocket recorder for hours and knocked it off of the railing to the ground.

In the morning, I saw the pocket recorder and realized I had left it there. It was completely soaked. I felt a little disheartened; it was such a silly error to make.

I brought the recorder into my car as I was taking off and put it on the rug between the two front seats. In a matter of about 90 minutes most everything looked dried.

As a test case (and I held my breath), I turned it on, and flipped to a recording I had already made to see if it was retrievable. Not only was it retrievable, it played perfectly. I was amazed.

I’m writing in high praise of this product. Whoever designed it, whoever shipped it, and whoever sold it, should all be proud. Here is something that truly works, and works even when owners are careless!

Yours truly,
Jeff Davidson

 

Your Letter, Today

In this era of political divisiveness, entitlement, and downright acrimony between different groups, writing a letter of praise is a positive development, and, collectively, a building block to a healthy and sustainable society.

So, to whom will you write a glowing letter of praise today? Surely there are vendors and service providers in your life who merit such a letter. Remember, the benefits to you are as great as the benefits to the receiver.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

The People Who Size You up Instantly

Beware of people who conveniently assess what you need, while missing the boat about their own needs

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I went to a social gathering and, arriving early, few others had arrived. So I took out my notepad and pen, and leisurely started making notes. A lady who saw me, asked what I was writing, which, of course, could be either a friendly way to start a conversation, or intrusive, depending on your point of view. I took it as the former, and shared with her my predisposition to take notes outside of my office where I generate ideas that don’t readily emerge at my desk.

Apparently my explanation was not satisfactory for her. In rapid succession she told me, ‘You need to get a drink. (Actually, I don’t drink.) You should to stop making notes. You ought to relax. (Making notes is relaxing to me.) You need to get a life.’

Paradoxically, I am the author of the books, Breathing Space and Simpler Living, and the audiobook, Get a Life. I also own the registered trademarks for the programs, Relaxing at High Speed and Managing the Pace With Grace. I have delivered 1,060 lectures on these topics for three decades.

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Quick and Wrong

It’s beyond strange when someone at a social gathering, in such short order, will assess what I need to do, with one pronouncement after another. When told that I needed to relax, I said, “If I was any more relaxed, I’d fall asleep.”

I came away from that experience recognizing that people who will readily tell you what you need are the ones who need what they’re telling you. You might have noticed a somewhat similar phenomenon in the workplace.

Suppose you work in a company that is crowded, noisy, and busy almost all the time. However, in your own office or cubicle, whichever the case might be, you’re able to maintain order.

Perhaps you have installed some sound barriers, if that is appropriate, and have crafted a workspace where you can get things done. People who walk by notice that your office equipment, resources, and possessions are organized. Guess what? Some office mates won’t tell you this, but they are uncomfortable with your organizing skills.

If they could find a simple way to articulate it, they would tell you, “Loosen up.” You don’t need to be so neat and orderly.” Why are they itching to tell you this? Because your level of organization makes them feel inadequate.

Be Like Me, I’ll Feel Better

Much like the lady at the social gathering, who told me ‘what I needed,’ some people in your immediate environment, in observing your capacity for taking charge of your space, and perhaps noting your higher-than-average level of productivity, would rather that you acted and proceeded in a different way. You might not hear that from them, but that is some might be thinking.

Beware of those people who so conveniently assess what you need, while completely missing the boat about their own needs. They fail to realize that what they’re telling you, is probably what they need to address for themselves.

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Education

Myths and Lies That Permeate Society

If myths can survive for decades, is there any hope that the Left’s current manufactured myths will ever die

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To anyone with an ounce of objectivity, it is apparent that the Left is fueled by myths, purveyed by Joe Biden and the mainstream media. Consider the “fine people on both sides” myth or the “Trump hates immigrants” lie that they routinely draw upon to slander Donald Trump.

Consider the myths and lies that Jen Psaki seeks to initiate at every press conference — the withdrawal from Afghanistan went accordingly to plan, school children need to wear masks, Biden doesn’t advocate open borders, $3.5 trillion in spending will cost nothing, inflation isn’t rising, etc.

Non-political myths, however, have circulated for years. More than a quarter century ago researchers for Nova, aired on the Public Broadcasting Service undertook an exhaustive examination of the myths surrounding the Bermuda Triangle. They found absolutely no statistical deviation in the incidence of disaster or disappearance of planes and ships in that area. The team concluded that those people who propagate the myth do so with limited, anecdotal “evidence,” usually for considerable commercial gain.

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Full Moon

Rising crime with the full moon – Several studies in scholarly journals have found no correlation between the incidence of a full moon and aberrant human behavior. More people tend to be out on nights with a full moon, which correlates directly with mishaps, accidents, and predictably, crimes.

A similar phenomenon occurs during holiday seasons. Since more people leave home and drive long distances, more burglaries, admissions to hospital emergency rooms, and arrests by police occur. Yet no one suggests that Christmas or the 4th of July are directly linked with abhorrent human behavior?

Ancient Aliens?

The great pyramids of Egypt – The Learning Channel aired a program in 1988 in which a team of scientists and engineers visited Egypt to determine how the great pyramids were built. Recreating the activities needed to build a pyramid, the team found that with arithmetic equations – without the knowledge of pi – the Egyptians built the structures that many people erroneously believe involved aliens. In fact, construction of the Great Pyramid requires only seventh-grade arithmetic.

The Egyptians were masters of moving stone by using sand and working in coordinated teams. Rather than using slaves to build the pyramids, the researchers deduced that an inspired citizenry, seeking to be part of the first great nation, chose to offer its labor.

A Bogus Industry Thrives

JFK conspiracy theories – These won’t die, but they should. There is no question as to who shot and killed President John F. Kennedy. It was Lee Harvey Oswald, and he was acting alone. This is explained in intricate detail by Gerald Posner in his landmark book Case Closed (1993).

Mr. Posner dislodged every conceivable stone (including Oliver Stone) to show why it was Lee Harvey Oswald and only Oswald who committed this crime. After illuminating Posner’s work in 25-page feature in its publication, U.S. News & Word Report declared it would never review another book on the topic because the case, indeed, was closed.

Yet, people are invested in having JFK’s death be surrounded by controversy. Since 1995, JFK conspiracy theories annually support a $250,000,000 industry.

The Thing That Wouldn’t Die!

If myths and lies can survive for decades, or even centuries, is there any hope that the Left’s current manufactured myths and non-stop will ever die?

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