In 2004, Tom Rath, along with his grandfather and mentor Dr. Donald Clifton, wrote a book titled, How Full is Your Bucket? It went on to be a bestseller and even inspired a children’s book by the same name. The concept of “bucket filling” was first introduced to me by my business partner Jerry Brown in the early days of my real estate career, and it came to be one of the driving concepts I embraced as we were building the culture of Keller Williams Realty.
When you pay a compliment or give recognition, you are filling a person’s bucket. When you criticize or judge them, you are emptying a bucket. People are healthier and more vital when their bucket is full.
Many people don’t realize how vital “bucket filling” is to business. When people feel acknowledged and appreciated, they are powerfully motivated to continue working hard, inspired even to work harder than before! Bucket filling is a pragmatic business initiative and one of the most time and cost effective ways you can increase the value of your business. When people are noticed for their good work, they continue to do their best!
One of the quickest ways to tell that someone is running on empty is to listen to them. How many times have we become frustrated with people who are constantly self-promoting? Have you ever stopped to think that they may feel the need to broadcast their accomplishments because no one else is endorsing them? What would happen to that same person if you took the time to compliment them publicly? What if you pointed out that you see their hard work, that you appreciate them and that you believe they have great value to you and to the company? When people know they are being noticed for the work they do, they are less likely to feel like they need to point it out on their own. The positive energy they receive from your recognition fuels them with the motivation they need to work even harder!
You may never know how a simple word of encouragement can turn someone’s life around. Don’t withhold the words that may help, heal, or encourage someone. Filling buckets takes intention. Take some time to think of the people in your life who could most use a good dose of encouragement. Seek them out and tell them how grateful you are for them. Be deliberate and specific in your affirmation. Bucket filling equals joy giving and it never fails to motivate people when they know that they are worth being noticed! Be intent on giving others the encouragement they need!
Adapted from Chapter 13 of A Joy Filled Life, “Fill Their Buckets”