Nov. 20, 2023

Celebrating Our Achievements: The Power of Self-Acknowledgment in the Workplace

In this week’s episode, I dive deep into the importance of celebrating and acknowledging ourselves at work. 

We often overlook our own achievements and milestones, constantly pushing ourselves to the next goal without taking the time to appreciate our accomplishments. I share how I've done just that myself!
So this week, let’s get into …
🎉 Why acknowledging achievements and milestones at work matters
💪 How we can overcome the mindset that hinders self-acknowledgment
💼 The connection of celebration and acknowledgment in teams and leadership

And… the magic five to one ratio for building healthy relationships and teams.

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Big shout out to my podcast magician, Marc at iRonickMedia for making this real.

Thanks for listening!

Catherine Stagg-Macey:

Why does it matter that we acknowledge ourselves? But what mindset gets in the way of us doing that service acknowledging ourselves and some examples of how to celebrate yourself or your achievements without spending money? Hello, and welcome to unset at work. I'm your host, Katherine Stagg Macy. I'm an executive team coach, and I'm interested in the conversations that we don't have at work. When was the last time you acknowledge something that you've achieved, like an important milestone and a project, or maybe getting a seat at the decision making table at last, or some positive feedback that you were a performance review? If you're like me, you probably completely skip over the celebration, the garden part. And here's I've just done this as well. This episode is gonna go live around the one year anniversary of the podcast. Now that's quite a milestone. That's 52 episodes published weekly for a year. That's in the context that most podcasts don't make it past three episodes, and 90% of podcasters quit after 20 episodes. So according to the stats, I'm in the top 25%, a podcast based on a weekly download of numbers. But had I plan to celebrate that any of it even talk about it? Was just gonna move on to the next milestone, because there's always another hill to climb, there's always another milestone to achieve, right? Does that sound familiar to you? I bet it does. So it got me thinking about this topic of how we celebrate and acknowledge ourselves. It has been a challenge for me. And it's a challenge for my clients as well, in coaching and in teams as well. So I'm going to talk about why it matters. Why does it matter that we acknowledge ourselves and we'll talk about what mindset gets in the way of us doing that service, acknowledging ourselves and some few examples of how to celebrate yourself your two events without spending money. Let me share something related to you whilst you're here. If you're curious about getting the the code for hacking leadership, then you're going to want to be in a my weekly emails that arrive every Tuesday in an inbox. So here's what you get that's unique to an email subscriber. You get stories and insights that I share only with my subscribers, you get news, when coaching spots become available like they did in October, I almost never put that on social media. I also have special offers, like my lightning coaching sessions go in there as well. And yeah, the other upside is you get to feel part of the cool kids. There's no cost to being a subscriber. Here's one email subscriber said, If I could subscribe twice, I would I love your emails, my heart beats a little faster. When I get a grin when I see your message from you in my inbox, I know it's gonna be good. So thank you, Anita, for the lovely feedback. So why not join 4600 subscribers on the newsletter by signing up, if you look, wherever you're watching this, there should be a link at the bottom for weekly newsletter and just low click and you'll be on the newsletter. So I'd love to have you on there. Let's get back to our topic of acknowledgement and celebration, and talk about why we don't acknowledge ourselves and therefore why we didn't. So that easy for us to acknowledge others. I think so much about dominant thinking in the last century has been about what's wrong with people. The thinking goes, if we can identify someone's weakness, and we can make them better. We focus on what's wrong rather than what's right. And our schooling and how we are parented really focused on criticism as a form of encouragement, perhaps you can relate I certainly can. My mother excelled at this. I remember the time when I had 95% on a math test. And I was feeling quite pleased myself. And she asked me in the straight face of what happened to the 5%. And she mentored. And she's not alone in believing that criticism is one of the ways that we motivate ourselves, we motivate other people, our culture tells us this is how we become our best by driving ourselves hard. If I'm not beating myself with a stick of criticism, then how am I going to achieve my goals? I had a client who once said to me, if I didn't drive myself like this, what do you mean by criticizing himself? I will be a benefits couch potato. All the performance appraisal processes that I have ever been part of have been based on the same idea. What's wrong? How do we find out what's wrong with you criticize that so you get better at those areas that you're weak at, and then we can get the best out of you. When I was a coach in coach training school, we were taught the skill of championing and acknowledging the client. This is a skill that can cause up the qualities of the person so it might sound something like you are courageous. I notice your flexibility and your generosity, or I really admire your tenacity. So notice it's really focusing on the qualities of the person. And we would do these skill drills where we'd stand in front of someone in the class and acknowledge them like On the fly in a sort of drill situation, and I was completely rubbish at it. Every time I got into the position, my mind just went blank. And my coach pointed out to me that I wasn't any good at acknowledging myself. And it wasn't a skill I'd perfected internally. So I, how could I expect myself to do it outwards or with others? And I thought, I mean, I think they're just completely spot on. It's a little confession about how I got over that coaching sessions, I'd spend 10 minutes writing down and what I thought I could honestly acknowledge and my client, it was as if I had to learn how to speak the language of acknowledgement. And over time, I've become really good at it. But I had to train myself into that skill. I hope the story makes it clear for us that many of us acknowledgment is just a foreign, foreign skill. And that's okay, if you find yourself in that place. Or well, why does it matter? Why does it matter that we should acknowledge ourselves and we should have the skill to acknowledge other people enter in positive psychology, the whole body of work in the end of last century and a new way of looking at the human experience? So positive psychology asks, What qualities help buffer us against stress and illness? How do we increase happiness? What characteristics of people are related to high levels of well being so notice the real 180 degree change in focus from criticism and weaknesses, to strengths. And as a body of work, it asks us to focus on their strengths and gratitude and compassion and kindness. And you would have seen this in all sorts of places. Nowadays, it's become very mainstream. And one of the ways we do this is about focusing on our strengths is to celebrate and acknowledge ourselves. Because we we do this for ourselves and to ourselves, we will have the capacity to acknowledge and champion others. But it's get back to like, so what like, why does it matter? If you've ever heard of the five to one ratio in teams and relationships, this is like a fascinating piece of work by the husband and wife team called doctors John and Julie Gottman. And they spent decades researching why some couples stayed married, and positive, healthy relationships and others didn't make it, what was going on, they found out a few things. But the one thing that's put into this conversation is what they called the magic ratio of five to one. And translated this, this meant that couples needed five positive interactions for every negative interaction. So five positive interactions for every negative one, the way to have positive interaction. One way is to acknowledge or champion someone. So I apply this to teams that I work with, if team members aren't able to acknowledge each other, they have no way of building resilience within their team for hard conversation. So we actually actually teach them a skill of acknowledgement. So they can build up that positive bank account have in the five to one ratio, that can work and couples can also work with yourself, I believe, it's acknowledgement can become a superpower force for your own health and for those around you. So that's why it matters. When I first mentioned, acknowledgement of celebration to a client, they think of alcohol and nights out, and therefore money and hangover. Let me not stand in the way of raising a glass of bubbly or going out by all means. But there are other ways of celebrating and getting acknowledged that don't involve spending any money. I want to share with you some of the ideas that I usually off wrap. So there's four ideas, the one is to share the moment and tell a friend or a family member. This might sound a little underwhelming, but there's great power in being witnessed. There's great power in saying someone, hey, we really achieve this amazing thing. And my podcast has made it to a year, can you just celebrate this moment with me and the friend and family member will respond accordingly. I mean, that is sometimes just enough. Another way of celebrating is having like a celebration playlist that you put on as a little ritual when something goes well, when you get to dance around your kitchen, or your living room, or the car on the on a drive home. The third way is creating a little ritual. So maybe when something goes well, you take yourself out for a nice cup of coffee, or you take yourself out for a solo date, or you have some other sort of original way of candles or music or something like that something that's has some significance to you ritualized process that you use to just acknowledge the moment. The fourth way is writing a letter to your future self. Now, this can be used in a variety of ways. There's a website out there free website called Future And you can write yourself a letter in there and then tell it when to send it back to you sometime in the future. You could write many letters to yourself as well, in doing this, there's something about writing down your achievement and celebrating it with your future self, which I think is is a lovely way of acknowledging and celebrating yourself. So back to the celebration that I've been avoiding. And the genesis for this episode, the one year anniversary of the podcast and sit at work I will celebrate the how isn't quite clear yet. And maybe just putting this out there as a form of celebration, but feel free to email me and ask me where I eventually landed and how I did celebrate that. It's you and I get better at acknowledging ourselves so we can give this to our colleagues or bosses or our loved ones. It's a skill that we have to do with ourselves before we can give to to other people. Let's get at it. So this is your wing woman signing up for the week.