Be Relentless About It - Fill that Emotional Tank
Feb 16, 2019
Recognition is a major tank filler. At Cal, we taught our players that filling each other’s Emotional Tanks is one of their most important jobs.
Remember, The E-Tank is like the gas tank of a car – if it’s low you’re not going to go very far. When teammates E-Tanks are regularly filled, they end up doing things that even they didn’t know they could do. It’s as important to for teams to fill each other's’ Emotional Tanks. Most adults get recognized so infrequently at work or home that if you recognize them, they deeply appreciate it, and it energizes them. We all have so many stresses, so many disappointments, so many tasks that we have to get done with little or no recognition, that our E-Tanks are often near empty.
Make a commitment that it will be different on your team.
Here are two things you can do to fill tanks on a regular basis:
1) Become a Noticer: When you look for them, you see appreciation-worthy things all throughout your life. But you have to look, and then take the time and make the effort to recognize people for them. Become a “Noticer” of the helpful things teammates do and recognize them for their contributions. It’s great to tell people directly that you appreciate what they do. Also, use what’s known as “Third-Party Recognition:” - or as I call it, Positive Gossip: tell someone on the team how much you appreciate someone else’s contribution. You will find that your comments often find their way back to the person who did the work. In some ways, it’s more of a Tank-filler when a third party lets you know that a teammate was praising you to them. Keep a list of things you notice each week that you want to thank people for. Recognition is one of the most important things you can do as a teammate, so don’t leave this to chance – keep a list and make it a habit to tell people how much you appreciate them and what they do and bring to the team.
2) Appreciations & Triumphs: Here’s another tool I learned from my time at the Positive Coaching Alliance - it’s called Appreciations and Triumphs. We open the floor at all of our PCA staff meetings to anyone who has appreciations or triumphs to share. This part of the meeting can go on for 15 minutes or more as people have gotten used to keeping track of how others have helped them, and they enjoy sharing these stories. Beginning your practices with a flood of positivity will result in a team of people with full E-Tanks who are emotionally equipped to tackle tough problems. It may take people time to embrace appreciations and triumphs, so remember that even if people aren’t visibly pleased with being recognized, they are soaking it in like a hot bath, and keep at it.
Fill E-Tanks relentlessly. It may be your most powerful tool to develop an effective league team this season!