If you’re like most today, you’re snowed in. Or, like me, you have a 3 hour weather delay due to the ice storm that came through overnight. Hence the delay in getting this post out today. But if you’re not, the Day 7 Happiness Challenge is tell your team or a team member they did a good job. And by that, I mean, give them some specific, meaningful, positive feedback about something they’ve done recently.

If you’ve been following this challenge this long, you know that much of the happiness that comes from this challenge is by showing kindness and gratitude to those around you. If you’re new to the Happiness Challenge, pop over to the introduction post about the 20 day Happiness Challenge.

Now that we’re into week 2, you already gave positive feedback to an administrative assistant on Day 1. But, I want to reiterate some specific tips about giving feedback. Especially because in some instances it’s given even less often than constructive (or negative) feedback. I don’t have any data to back that assertion up, but I’ve met enough managers that have told me a variation of one of these kinds of statements:

Want to be happier in 20 days?

Our 20-day happiness calendar gives you one simple activity each day that will make you happier at work. 

  • People know they have done a good job, I don’t need to tell them.
  • I shouldn’t have to praise someone for doing their job.
  • A pay check is enough to say they’ve done a good job.

But, the truth is, we all need positive feedback in addition to the constructive. In fact, an article in the Harvard Business Review asserts that there’s an ideal ratio of positive to negative feedback. I think of it in terms of building up a good-will savings account. You need to ‘deposit’ positive feedback in regularly. That way, when you need to give constructive feedback there’s enough positive in the good-will account.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to be a supervisor to give (or receive) feedback to a team member. In fact, Lencioni makes that argument in the 5 Dysfunctions of a Team that high functioning teams hold each other accountable. Which, if you’ve not read the book, I encourage you strongly to get it.

Final reminder on how to give feedback that is more effective than just saying ‘good job”:

  1. Must be timely. Deliver it as soon as possible after the action.
  2. Needs to be specific. Tell them what they did well so they know what to repeat.

Now, the hardest part of keeping on track with a challenge is the accountability and support to keep on going. I hope you’ll follow along with me and the other Fed Fans that are participating. I also hope that you’ll share your successes with us either on twitter #happieratwork or on the Fedability facebook page. You can find me on twitter @danaesims_iopsy. Or, you can leave a comment in the space below.

I look forward to hearing how today’s challenge goes! If you are taking today as an unscheduled leave day due to weather – then you get a pass. You can increase your happiness with warm coffee and bunny slippers like me.

Did you miss Day 6 of the Happiness Challenge? Go back to the post on getting advice from an administrative assistant.

Ready to move on to Day 8 of the Happiness Challenge? Jump over to the post on appreciating someone in your department by sending a thank you note.

Note: The link to the 5 dysfunctions of a team is an affiliate link. I may receive a commission if you purchase the book through the link. But, even if I didn’t get a commission, I’d still highly recommend it.