“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is; treat him as he could and should be and you help him become so.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Several years ago, my sister, whose last name is Ball, decided to get her Ph.D., which she understood would be an arduous process. At one point, one of her professors addressed her in class by calling her “Dr. Ball”, offering her a small, but powerful glimpse of what it would be like to earn that title. Hearing her name as it would be used when she accomplished the goal created a strong reaction in her and gave her something tangible to hold onto while she worked toward her degree. This is a great example of the “Act as if” principle which tells us to act as if we’ve already accomplished our goals.
What a creative way to encourage someone! This professor knew that calling her Dr. Ball (and continuing to do so throughout every class she took with him) would help her maintain her focus on the goal, which is an important factor in achieving long-term dreams. By allowing her to feel the pride of being called “Dr. Ball” even before she earned the title, this professor also helped her visualize and actually experience what it would be like to attain that dream.
How can you take a lesson from this professor to create a WOWplace in your organization (or even in your personal life)? Get creative! You can:
- “Act as if” others have already achieved their dreams and help them to see and feel how wonderful it will be when they do;
- recognize and openly acknowledge the talents you see in others, rather than just noticing and ignoring them;
- from time to time, ask someone about a dream they’ve mentioned;
- ask if they need any help or advice as they work toward a goal;
- congratulate them when they achieve portions of their goals – even give them a little “reward”, such as a card, e-card, or other reward such as candy, a flower, or something else they would appreciate.
Every little bit helps when we’re trying to reach stretch goals. Turn your workplace into a WOWplace by letting everyone know that their personal accomplishments are noticed, and are just as valued and valuable as their business ones.