I recently bought these smiley-face stickers, which are produced by a company called Teacher Created Resources, and this message on the back of the package caught my attention:
Imagine the great things you can do with these fantastic stickers!
Recognize Good Conduct!
While it's slightly exhausting to read--so many! exclamation points!--I also find it inspiring. I'm reminded of the many wonderful teachers I've had, and I recall with gratitude the many ways in which they expressed not only their commitment to my learning but also their investment in me as a person. I hope I have a similar impact on my own clients and students, and while I trust in my abilities as a coach, I'm also prompted to wonder how I could do an even better job. It's important to me to go the extra mile, just like a teacher who might pay for these stickers out of their own pocket to augment their limited classroom supplies.
Finally, I see a clear parallel between the impact of a smiley face sticker on a child and the many small ways in which we can convey our support and caring to each other as adults. Research shows that activities such as expressing gratitude or practicing acts of kindness have a surprisingly large impact on our happiness. This research reinforces what I see in my work as a coach every day--the little things really do matter, and it's important to look for and step into opportunities to encourage progress, restore confidence, comfort struggle.