The Art of the Campfire: Recognition 101
by Toby Barazzuol on Thursday Jul 31, 2014

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With the arrival of summer, the season of warm crackling campfires is upon us again! As we head out to the forests and beaches, many of us will have the pleasure of lighting and building our campfires.

Now, have you ever started a campfire? First, you take some paper and dry kindling and then you light it. As the flames begin to grow, you slowly add pieces of wood and continue to fan the most promising glowing embers. As the fire struggles to take hold, you continue to blow and fan until, finally, the fire starts to roar and cackle as it takes on a life of its own!

If you have ever started a fire like this, congratulations, because you now also understand the basics of recognition and appreciation.

In your community or organization, the embers are your people. People are the source of your community's energy, and they can either burn long and bright, or they can simply burn out - the outcome depends largely on how you treat them. In our campfire example, the act of fanning the fire is the act of recognition. Recognition can happen in a lot of different ways - thoughtful comments of appreciation, handwritten notes, personalized gifts, bespoke recognition awards - and when these recognition efforts are successful, your embers will burst into flames. The flames of the fire are the mission of your company or the movement your organization supports. With proper care and intention, these flames can become a powerful and consuming force.

So the next time you’re thinking of your organization, think of it like a campfire. Think of the embers that you would like to focus on, then think of how to fan those embers to create the flames of change that you’d like to see, and soon enough you’ll be sitting beside a warm and crackling campfire!

Happy summer everyone!



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