November 16, 2006, Vol. IV Issue 22
Have you ever felt over-appreciated? I didn’t think so. Chances are then, that your employees, your members, your meeting attendees, even your family members would bask the in the glow of praise and appreciation – as YOU would, given the spotlight, or at least a flashlight!
It IS that simple, words spoken frequently and sincerely over time are far more powerful than a one-time gift at the end of someone’s tenure. In the spirit of this season of thanksgiving, I’ve chosen to shine the spotlight in the direction of appreciation in this issue. In both of the examples, the speaker went the extra mile in initiating ideas with their meeting planners, as well as delivering meaningful and memorable programs.
William Arthur said, “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you.”
I was going to include some holiday slimming (eating) tips in this issue but we’re out of room so look for those next time. I am including one of my favorite holiday recipes – Zonya Foco’s Surprise Pumpkin Pie – a slimmed down version that lets you indulge in a holiday favorite without overloading on extra calories.
Loading Up on Appreciation
“All of us want it. It’s easy to give and it’s free,” Sue Kirby says. “Nobody gets enough of it and nobody gets tired of hearing you appreciate them.” And, she added, there isn’t enough of it in this world. Sue has been doing her “Please Pass the Trophy” presentations since she started raising kids – that’s where she originally got her material. “I realized early on that it was more productive to praise them than berate them,” she says about her child-rearing days. “Employees aren’t any different.” Any of you who have heard Sue’s hilarious stories know her sincerity and her frankness ring true.
While she was in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois recently for two women’s night out event programs for Monroe Clinics, she did a program for their nurses early in the morning in between. “It was very early,” she said. “They came dressed for work and I was honored that they took time to be there before their shifts began.”
In preparation, she sent out an email to the doctors asking them for a letter of praise for a nurse whose work they appreciated. “I know you are very busy, but I am hoping for an e-mail or letter that I can share and celebrate these valuable people,” Sue’s message said.
She received three replies, one heralding nine employees. Now, did Sue simply take their names and announce them? No. She re-created the email in a lovely font on letterhead, bought frames and framed the letters herself and during her talk presented them to every honoree. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the room,” she told me. “I started reading the letter to the nine employees and started crying so hard I couldn’t finish it.”
Sue said she was speaking for all the silent voices who leave the hospital with good intentions. “A lot of people mean to say thank you again by writing a note or sending flowers. . . and then life intervenes,” she said. “They go home with a new baby or they are healing from an operation so life is complicated when they return home. And besides, you said you’d be okay, you were just doing your job,” she told the nurses.
“I just wanted to celebrate them,” Sue said. “It was a very moving experience for me. This is when you know why you speak, why you’re in this business.”
In Another Scenario…
Deb DiSandro told me that she was hired by an Iowa hospital to present her “Dr. Slightly Off” program at their annual awards banquet. The original idea was to lighten things up — “Dr. Slightly Off” is Deb’s creation – a character who expounds on the health benefits of humor. Now, if you’ve ever sat through a long awards presentation (who hasn’t?), you know the routine can use some lightening (if not shortening) up. The client had asked her to give a speech before the awards presentation. And that followed cocktails, casino games and dinner . . . you’ve got the picture!
As Deb started asking questions about the event, she got an idea. “What if I incorporated the awards right into my speech?” She admits now that it was a bit scary, but the meeting planner agreed so they forged ahead. Deb created a questionnaire that the meeting planner distributed to the award winners. With their answers, Deb crafted her presentation.
On the event evening, she arrived early to meet and greet her new cast members. “After meeting me, everyone felt comfortable,” she said. “They knew I wasn’t going to embarrass them. Combined with some of my Dr. Slightly Off humor, the award recipients ended up being the entire speech. They were so much fun! I think they really enjoyed the spotlight. We all had a great time, the people were honored, the audience was entertained and we even did a little health education.”
Like Sue Kirby said, nobody gets enough appreciation and nobody gets tired of it. I thank our speakers for their willingness to go the extra mile. I value the example that Sue and Deb have set here and thank them for the care they’ve shown in listening to the client as well as tuning into their own sensitivities as human beings.
Many of you have taken advantage of the opportunity to have our speakers do a program for your employees or nurses when you bring one of our motivational speakers in for a public program. On our website, select Appreciation under TOPICS and all of our speakers who do Appreciation programs will come up randomly.
Over the River and Through the Woods…
As every holiday does, Thanksgiving brings back memories. Thanksgiving is at our house this year and that’s just fine with me. My husband cooks AND cleans. Well, so do I, but he’s happy to take charge of the turkey, dressing, yams AND the vacuuming. I love setting the table with the delicate rose-patterned Haviland china I inherited from my Great Aunt Mary. I’m happy to stay home because I have a lot of long distance driving history around Thanksgiving.
I remember as a kid, the family packing ourselves into the station wagon and driving from Cleveland to Pittsburgh to be with our aunt, uncle and cousins. While the adults cooked and visited, the kids got together in the basement and created a Thanksgiving play – something to do with pilgrims and Indians, according to the picture albums.
And, for many years as a single woman in Michigan, I packed myself and my dog in the car and headed for a long weekend at my brother and sister-in-law’s house in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. That was an 11- 13 hour drive depending on the weather and how many stops we made. Now my other brother and his wife live nearby here in Oregon so they’ll be joining us for Thanksgiving along with other friends, including a visitor from China.
For your Thanksgiving enjoyment, I’m including the recipe for one of my holiday favorites, Surprise Pumpkin Pie, from Zonya Foco’s cookbook, Lickety-Split Meals for Health Conscious People on the Go. It’s a surprise because it makes its own crust. For 1/8 slice, this clocks in at only 175 calories and 2 grams of fat, compared to a slice of store-bought pie at 370 calories and 45 grams of fat. It’s a breeze to make and it’s yummy!
And, if you want to calculate how much you need to walk to burn off those Thanksgiving Day calories, check out this nifty website:
Until next time, be good to yourself, and enjoy your holiday for your well being and those you love.
SURPRISE PUMPKIN PIE from
Zonya Foco’s Lickety-Split Meals for Health Conscious People on the Go
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor for 2 minutes:
2 eggs or 4 egg whites or 1/2 cup egg beaters
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup reduced-fat Bisquick mix
1 1/2 cups pumpkin
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp
cloves and 1/4 tsp nutmeg)
1/4 tsp salt
1 can (13 oz) evaporated skim milk
Spray a 9” pie plate (preferably glass) with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour in the batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until firm.
Cool completely before cutting. Serve with fat-free ice cream or
yogurt, if desired.
This recipe makes either (1) 9” deep dish (4 cup volume) or (2) shallow
dish (2 cup volume) pies. If making the (2) shallow pies, adjust
baking time to 35 to 45 minutes. Nutrition information per slice will
be 1/2 of what is listed below.
Preparation time: 10 minutes Oven time: 50-60 minutes
Nutrition information for 1/8 slice
Calories from Fat 9%
Fat 2 g
Saturated Fat <1 g
Fiber 1.4 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 240 mg
Protein 6.5 g
Total Carbohydrate 34 g
Sugars 20 g