Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | SOCIAL SCENE - MINDYOU WORDS:NICKBENNET­T Nick Ben­nett is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor and coach at mind­saligned.com.au

As we work with teams and in­di­vid­u­als in con­ver­sa­tion about what’s im­por­tant for them and what is ef­fec­tive in terms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, one of the key things that comes up con­stantly is recog­ni­tion. The sim­ple pat on the back or en­cour­ag­ing com­ment that shows some­one has ob­served them do­ing some­thing and has made the ef­fort to pro­vide feed­back. It seems so sim­ple and yet it is such a pow­er­ful motivator for peo­ple.

Un­til re­cently, I thought that it wasn’t that im­por­tant to me. I have al­ways con­sid­ered my­self to be self-directed and very much own my ac­tions, de­ci­sions and con­se­quences. It seems to have been my way since I was very young. I have al­ways seen my­self as strongly in­de­pen­dent and that has been a value that

has shaped me for decades.

Given the fact that I work with my amaz­ing wife and we are of­ten in dis­cus­sion about peo­ple and the very pos­i­tive as­pects of en­gag­ing them to do their best, it came as a real sur­prise to me re­cently when I was given some feed­back from a per­son I’d worked with sev­eral years ago when we had a chance meet­ing in an air­port.

We had crossed paths from time to time very briefly in air­ports and I hadn’t re­ally had the chance to have a good con­ver­sa­tion with him about what he’d been up to since I had worked with him and a team of peo­ple set­ting up a new mine sev­eral years ear­lier. I knew that he had taken a risk and had set up his own busi­ness and was cu­ri­ous to know how it was go­ing for him and how he was en­joy­ing the chal­lenges.

My role at the time had been as fa­cil­i­ta­tor and ‘cul­ture coach’ devel­op­ing an aligned lead­er­ship team who had de­vel­oped and com­mit­ted to a clear and agreed vi­sion, mis­sion and value set to which we added con­sid­er­able em­pha­sis on the in­tra and in­ter­per­sonal tool­kit.

As I re­called, he had al­ways had a pres­ence about him, was im­pa­tient to im­prove things and could be very di­rect with peo­ple who weren’t com­mit­ted to the task at hand. Along with that he was al­ways cu­ri­ous, willing to learn and was pre­pared to change pro­vided he could un­der­stand the rea­son­ing be­hind it.

As we were get­ting into the con­ver­sa­tion, you could have knocked me down with a feather when he said that the work I had done with them at that time had changed his life and given him the con­fi­dence to step out­side of what he knew and en­gage with peo­ple dif­fer­ently. He was in­cred­i­bly ap­pre­cia­tive and grate­ful. To­day he has 50 peo­ple work­ing for him and is ex­pand­ing in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions.

His feed­back re­ally im­pacted me. I felt a lit­tle em­bar­rassed. He had done the work. With that, I was ab­so­lutely de­lighted to hear that for him his path was clear and he was mak­ing it work ex­cep­tion­ally well. The other great thing is that he is also work­ing with his wife and they are both very happy.

You never know where you have a rip­ple ef­fect nor when you might re­ceive feed­back on your im­pact.

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