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  • Tracy Hooper

How to Recognize the Good in Others

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

Happy New Year.

Are you still getting emails and reading articles about how to make 2023 the best year ever? Here’s a sample headline. “Tech That Will Change Our Lives in 2023.”

Do you know what I believe will change our lives in 2023? “Recognizing the good in others and amplifying it.”

Over the holidays, our neighbor, Sam, and Irene, his 95-year-old mother came by for a cup of tea. Irene was visiting from Arizona, and this was the first time she and I had met. The three of us chatted about holiday plans, current events and how much she loves living in Phoenix. After about 30-minutes, as she and Sam got up to leave, I felt compelled to say, “Irene, before you go, I’d like to tell you how much Henry and I appreciate Sam.”

Both got wide-eyed and looked at each other as if to say, “Where is this going?”

I smiled and said, “Sam is one of those fabulous neighbors who everybody wants in their community. He’s our Ambassador. He keeps an active spreadsheet of everyone on the block with our name, address, email, and preferred phone number. He’s always the first person to welcome new neighbors. He’s the guy we call if there’s a power outage, or the recycling didn’t get picked up. And, because he’s an avid walker, he provides a steady presence here. When Sam walks by, it feels like, ‘all’s well on the block.’ Congratulations, Irene.”

Sam blushed; Irene beamed.

That is “recognizing the good in others and amplifying it.” It was spontaneous. It took one minute to say. And the bonus was, amplification. What I mean is, over the years, I’ve thanked Sam for being a great neighbor, but to acknowledge him to his mother made an impact.

Try it.

  • In a group meeting, acknowledge the contribution of a co-worker who’s in the room or on the call with the client there

  • At an all hands, amplify a colleague who you can count on

  • Repeat a teammate’s idea and give them credit for it

  • Praise a new person who’s putting in extra time to learn the system or who models the courage it takes to ask questions

  • Amplify someone from legal, IT, accounting, or HR who may not get a lot of high fives.

In 2023, I believe “recognizing the good in others and amplifying it” will beat “Tech That Will Change Our Lives,” any day!

Thanks for reading.

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