Almost 2 years ago a colleague of mine, Mike Schmidtmann, shared his explainer video.
Like you, I had seen them before. But his was fantastic, and I thought it was a good idea to explore. I soon hired a company to create one. Their contract said that the finished product would be complete in two weeks. At the time, I was very busy creating a year-long customized training program, so I modified the contract, omitting a deadline altogether.
Was this a good idea, or did I create my own procrastination dilemma? For those of you who are frequent readers, you know that about the standing desk.
Although I often say “done is better than perfect,” sometimes I don’t listen to myself. The contract sat on the side of my desk for almost two years.
While this project of an explainer video was significantly more time consuming than opening the standing desk box, it didn’t deserve two years of desk and mental energy space. With my team, Keri and Mary, and the quick turnaround time of the video company, we were able to put together the finished product in about 20 hours.
When I showed my husband the finished product he had some suggestions. I said, “Done is better than perfect.” What do you think?
I just came back from a big adventure and am eager to share my experiences and pictures with you, but for now there’s a more immediate message. I had just returned to the US (and this time zone!) Sunday night when I joined millions of other Americans to watch the Super Bowl and shake off some jet lag. Although I usually just watch the commercials, this year the game was actually worth watching! It was during the commercials that I learned that saying “You are a rock star!” is passe, at least according to the featured rock stars.
I have a neighbor whose son is an actual rocket scientist, and when you ask her what he is doing she says, “He’s a rocket engineer. For him, it really is rocket science.”
You probably know me well enough to realize that if you can’t say someone is a rock star, and your son or daughter are not rocket scientists, I will be glad to offer you other words of praise to compliment your colleagues and to show your appreciation.
Thus, let me take this opportunity to share some phrases of thoughtful recognition:
- You rock!
- Your work on this product was awesome.
- I appreciate the expertise you have in this area.
- You bring a skill to this project that none of the rest of us possess.
There’s another term that while well-intentioned, some consider offensive. It’s referring to a woman as a “badass.” While once considered a compliment, now some women say, “Can’t you recognize my efforts without referring to me in loaded terminology?” This article underscores the concern.
So, should you stop calling someone a rock star? That is probably not necessary. In fact, it may be even more popular now than before thanks to the Super Bowl commercial, but eliminating badass from your lexicon is a good idea! And giving sincere words of praise is always welcomed. What are your favorite compliments for others?
For those of you who are long time readers, you will notice that I frequently write blogs on positivity, appreciation, and gratitude. In general, I try to model those qualities when approaching challenges in my work and personal life.
So, is there ever a time when we should all stop and shout, “Enough is enough!” “This doesn’t make any sense!” “I am fed up!” The answer is yes, and the research on the negative effects of what can be referred to as toxic positivity are clear.
I had a situation three years ago with a colleague and it wasn’t positive. Okay, I will say it: It was negative. Soon after the encounter, I was retelling the experience to my friend Patty and we were rolling around in the verbal upset. Neither of us liked where we were going, and then Patty said, “Can we just say it was awful?” Yes! It was awful!
Kate Bowler, a bestselling author who studies the cultural stories we tell ourselves, said in her recent podcast that “positivity becomes toxic when it prevents us from being able to speak honestly about our circumstances.”
Therapist Whitney Goodman wrote an entire book about it and created a fantastic chart to help you say something that is both truthful and helpful.
I wish for you a life full of happiness, but I also know that is not always possible. I hope that these phrases will help you be where you are while moving forward to a legitimate place of feeling better, day by day.