When I was a kid, I had a rabbit named Fluffernutter (peanut butter colored top, white bottom — like the sandwich with marshmallow fluff).

I thought of Fluffernutter last night when I came upon an empty lot full of purple clover.  That rabbit L-O-V-E-D purple clover.  Even though it has been a couple of decades since I fed it to him, I still can’t walk past it without thinking of the pure joy that it brought.  For whatever reason, purple clover was the favorite, much more than white clover or treats or grass.

Your challenge as a supervisor is to learn the equivalent of purple clover for your staff.  In my world, I can best thank/praise someone with a new pen; for another it is with a Pez dispenser; yet someone else will feel most loved with a certain kind of candy or even cereal.  The small tokens of appreciation go further than the infrequent monetary raises because in addition to saying “thank you”, they also communicate “I know you.”  There is no better way to inspire.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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