Things I Heard

I had a great day, yesterday, professionally. Here are a list of things that were said to me.

  • “Great job, L!”
  • “I just want to say NICE !!!!”
  • “Wow. What a nice thing to do. Thank you very much.”
  • “Cool web site!”
  • “I’m so glad you are here”
  • “You are the new…you are the future….”

Today, someone asked if I had everything I needed and if I could use any help. I was also tapped to work on a special project. And, two ideas I suggested are being implemented.

I’ve always been the kind of person who will thrive when I know what I’m doing right and shut down when all I hear is what I’m doing wrong. As a teenager, the music teachers who saw my real talent knew how to inspire me: they told me what I did well and then watched me instinctively fix the things I was doing wrong. [1] Compliments coupled with instruction go a loooong way with me.

The most useful skill I got from Zeta [2] is one that I try to use a lot: Pro-Con-Pro. [3] I make every effort to start off positive and end positive. And, I hope to give twice as many positive comments as I do negative ones. Not only do I try to do this when I have to give constructive criticism, I need it when I’m on the receiving end. Knowing what I do well is just as (if not more) important as knowing what is incorrect.

Besides, this method brings more harmony to any relationship, including professional ones.

[1] One of my favorite music moments was when our band director asked me how I was accenting some notes, with articulation or air support. I told him I was doing it with air and looked at him puzzled, “isn’t that what you told me to do ?” Then, he just laughed at me because I was apparently doing something really difficult. He was truly proud of me and amazed that I was so flippant about it.

[2] As a college-bound high schooler and in my first two+ years of college, I never thought sororities were for me. I never saw them as bad, but I didn’t think I was a good fit. Then, Zeta Tau Alpha came to our college campus and changed my mind. Turns out, I did fit in. We just didn’t—until I was technically a junior—have the right kind of group for me. So, I was technically a senior when I pledged in January. I got initiated in April and then graduated that December. My all-too-brief college experience with ZTA gave me some amazing skills. I can only imagine what all I’d have learned if I’d found Zeta sooner!

[3] I’m sure most sororities and other groups that select members through a formal recruitment process use this or something similar, but the whole point is to give every nod to the potential member. When it’s time to narrow down the list of girls who are a good fit for membership, there are always the ones who fall in the middle. So, when it’s time to discuss a potential new member, the girls are asked to give a positive contribution the new member can make to the chapter. Next someone is allowed to give a con. Finally, another pro is expected. No matter how many times the chapter wants to pro-con-pro a potential member, they have to do the full pattern before there can be a vote. This gives a potential new member twice as much positive juju as negative.

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