In addition to being a good sender of the kind of love notes I described yesterday, I would recommend a strategy for when you are the recipient.  What do you do with those notes that you receive?  Instead of tossing them, you should create a file for yourself.

My folder contains cards, post-it notes, handwritten scribbles and a host of things to remind me that I am making a difference to someone.  If I get a great email, I print it out and stick it in the “smile file.”  When I am having a really rotten day or wondering if my work matters, I drag it out and within a few moments I again become centered.

I also keep a file of the snarkiest emails and things that just set me on edge.  I don’t read it as often, but somehow the passage of time makes even the worst things seem not so bad.  It keeps perspective for me — if there really are only a few things in that file, I know it will be ok and that my feelings are colored by a few bad things that have happened recently.  If the file gets too big, then maybe it is a sign that it’s time to dust off the old resume.

As a supervisor, I keep notes to remind me of my employees’ ups and downs during the year.  It helps to develop a system that allows me to make the same assessment about myself.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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