Feel the Joy of Success

I am a big fan of failure.  There is much to be learned from not succeeding.  There’s not a lot to be learned from a world where “everyone gets a trophy”.  That being said, I recently experienced the “Joy of Success” and wanted to share.

Every week I “meet” with three other coaches. We talk for an hour and a half and share our challenges, offer suggestions, lend a sympathetic ear and laugh.  We start every call by sharing a success we had since we last talked.  Now, as a well-trained and experienced coach I know (in my head) how powerful it is to talk about things in the affirmative.  But let me tell you what it feels like.

Now that I know the “call drill” I get a little anxious about an hour beforehand.  I start thinking about what I will say when it’s my turn to share a success.  I admit it often takes me some time to come up with something.  It really isn’t because I’m a loser.  I think it is because I have not been schooled to think this way.  Like most, I finish my days with tasks left undone, ideas I am rethinking (AKA compromising), etc., etc.  At day’s end there is little motivation to review the day and “celebrate my successes”.

So it’s a bit of a struggle to remember my weekly success(es).  Sometimes I have to go to the calendar to even remember what I did last week!  But when I come up with something, it always makes me smile.  And then, when I TALK about it, I hear my own voice change.  I feel a little tingly.  I hear my colleagues smile (yes, if you are a good listener you can hear a smile!).  And I settle in to my success.

Then a colleague shares her success.  I can tell the same thing is happening.  And after we go around the virtual room there is a charge in the air.  So much so that any challenges are transformed in to opportunities – and that’s not just coaching lingo.  Because after sharing our successes, we are sitting up straight, smiling, and feeling powerful and accomplished.  With that we know we can work through anything and be successful.

soapWhen this mastermind group was set up, the facilitator* suggested we follow the SOAP model.  The model directs us through a call, discussing S(uccesses), O(pportunities), A(ctions), and P(earls). After sharing successes, we then discuss opportunities (sometimes disguised as challenges), plan actions to exploit the opportunities and then wrap up the call with everyone sharing their takeaway pearl of wisdom. It’s a powerful model for any conversation.

I am inspired by the raw energy that comes from success-talking.  Take a minute, think back – what was one success you would highlight from last week?  Ok – take a few minutes – but think about it – and notice how you feel! And most importantly – share it here.

*Many thanks to Laurie Macrae who brought the SOAP model in to my world!

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2 Responses to Feel the Joy of Success

  1. Sue Johnson says:

    This is a good model to follow! Thanks for the reminder about it. At work, my direct reports provide a written summary to me each month (works as a helpful way for me to do the same for my boss and provides all of us a record of progress against goals throughout the year). Stealing this idea from a colleague several years ago, I asked that the report be structured to lead off with Wins, followed by a section for Opportunities. I think after seeing how various people utilize that format, it’s obvious that it’s not always easy for people to pull those wins out and communicate them: some get it and periodically identify a true win, and others put all actions during the month in the win column, diluting it. That format is no longer being used after various transitions – maybe I should reinstate it or modify 1 on 1 meetings with staff to be more like a SOAP model. Thinking differently, and then practicing it, is needed.

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