Death of a “Job Well Done”

The expression of a “job well done” has always been a bit awkward for me  – both on the giving or receiving side.

As I see it, “doing well” should have merit in itself and something we should all strive for – so that it is really a baseline rather than a true accomplishment. As a consequence, I would suggest the expression of a “job well done” could…

  1. Be redundant to satisfaction already experienced by the receiver who is actually “doing well”.
  2. Be perceived as an insincere statement that is more harmful than helpful to the relationship between the giver and receiver of the compliment.

Instead, I would suggest that we all need to dig deeper. This takes time and insight, but is well worth the effort. Consider transforming “job well done” into:

  1. Telling the person how you feel about what they have done. Did it make you happy? Ease your stress? Give you confidence?
  2. Expressing gratitude for their actions. Never underestimate the value of saying thank you sincerely.
  3. Acknowledging the effort that it took for them achieve. Achievements are usually the result of going above and beyond – that’s hard work and worth noting!
  4. Offering your support. How can you help this person go further? True collaboration is a gift.

I therefore call for the immediate death of a “job well done” and would invite a deeper level of insight in its place. The sharing of such insight will in turn meaningfully strengthen and build confidence the person receiving the message.

 

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