End of year madness is fast approaching. Christmas decorations are already in the shops. Maybe you suddenly realise that you have not yet taken enough action on your new-year resolution to get fit (just saying). Perhaps time is running out to achieve all your business or professional objectives for this year. Add to that family and holiday plans looming up.
As we deal with the calendar ticking over, it is all too easy to focus on what we have not done rather than what we have actually accomplished over the year.
The leadership team of a large not for profit were initially despondent about their large list of unfinished projects. In a session designed to end the year on a high note, they shifted their focus to what they had collectively and individually accomplished. Each person came up with at least one thing that they were most proud of having accomplished. Other team members acknowledged them. For example, they spoke of the person’s courage, resourcefulness or tenacity. Their colleagues also highlighted the difference they had made.
Instead of falling across the finish line exhausted and frustrated, the leadership team ended the year satisfied and fulfilled. The long list of things they had not done, did not seem as important.
Daniel Kahneman explains the phenomenon of how we recollect events in the book, Thinking Fast and Slow. He suggests that what makes us happy is what occurs at the end of an event, something he calls the ‘peak-end rule.’ For example, if you had things go wrong on your holiday but everything turned out well in the end, then the bad memories recede. Similarly, we can avoid end of year madness by ending 2017 on a high note.
What are you most proud of having accomplished this year?
Best regards, Brian
PS: Want to end the year with your team on a high note?
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