I “had” to get coffee on the way to a full day of meetings. None of my usual spots were on the route. I wasn’t sure about the coffee at the venue. What to do.
I remembered that one food place had added new coffee to their menu. I turned in, drove through, and moved on, coffee in hand.
As I sat in the first session, I began to read the coffee cup. It’s a habit formed at the breakfast table long ago, when cereal boxes gave my eyes something to do. (The habit of reading everything may explain how I can move through my feed-reader so quickly, and why reflective reading is so hard for me these days).
As I stared at the sleeve, I realized it was talking to me, or about me at least.
“Serving the Best.”
I felt pretty good. Here was a coffee company, protecting my hand from being burned AND evaluating me and deciding I was among the Best. I’m not sure what the criteria were. I’m not sure I care. I’m just grateful that they wanted to encourage me.
I’m working on that kind of encouragement myself these days. Not the indiscriminate kind like Seattle’s Best does. I’m trying to figure out how to specifically encourage people. What is good about what they do? How in particular do they excel? What was it about their presentation that rocked, exactly?
Those specifics can help people improve. The details allow for additional polishing. The insights into how the ideas or presentation or conversation worked its way into your head or heart or soul can make the person ever more effective in the future.
I felt better this morning as I was able to twist the advertising into a compliment. I’ll feel even better tomorrow morning as I help at least one person figure out what exactly they are doing right.