I was recently given the opportunity to sit in on a staff meeting at my friend’s church. As the meeting began, I was encouraged to see the first topic of discussion revolved around sharing recent highlights or successes in each other’s respective areas of responsibility.
It was fascinating to see how this group activity set the tone for the entirety of the two-hour conference. Two grueling hours of nitty-gritty church work, yet not a single hint of negativity in the air. Granted, most people are typically on their “best behavior” when there’s a guest in the room, but to go two straight hours with not even the slightest complaint? I’m convinced that the practice of “celebrating the wins” at the outset of the meeting is what permitted the optimism to continually flow from one topic to the next as the meeting progressed. As the meeting drew to a close, I was convinced that I’d witnessed, firsthand, the power of sharing positive highlights in the context of community.
Wise leaders understand that when we invite others to share their highlights (or wins, praise reports, victories, etc., whichever terminology you prefer) we’re not simply asking them to “toot their own horns.” This is an invitation to help “sharpen each other’s swords” in a number of different ways.
For starters, when we ask a team member to share a recent highlight, it forces that person to sift through their most recent experiences, both high points and low points, to find the good in them all. Moreover, as we direct attention to the highs, we inadvertently deflect the lows that so easily drain us, leaving us emotionally depressed and exhausted.
Celebrating victories not only helps to find the good in our circumstances, but it also instills in us a sense of hope for future productivity. The highlights we experience are evidence that good things still happen, and when shared in the context of community, we build faith and confidence into the hearts of others, subsequently motivating them to press on in the face of any future adversity.
In addition to the hope found in our highlights, these success stories make for excellent teaching tools for everyone on the team. Rightly observed and evaluated, team members can mine a single highlight for all kinds of tips and tricks that not only led to recent success, but may also lead to future success down the road.
Make no mistake, there is power in sharing your highlights. That being said, what’s gone well for you this week?