Trolling for accolades! Do you?

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People are starved for attention, for recognition, for affection. For me there are few joys greater than catching someone in the act of "doing great" and giving them recognition.

One of my favorite ways to do so is something I call "trolling for accolades".

Trolling is a fishing technique wherein you travel in a boat at slow speed and drag a baited fishing line behind the boat. Hopefully the fish will follow it and nibble at the bait. Metaphorically, I use email as bait to troll for feedback.

Specifically, when a club or club member accomplishes a notable achievement, I send them a congratulatory email with cc to anyone remotely relevant:

  • Their fellow club members
  • Their friends and family
  • Their Area, Division, and District Governors
  • If it's an educational completion, their District's Lt. Governor of Education and Training
  • If it's a membership related achievement, their District's Lt. Governor of Marketing e.g. for the club recruiting 5 new members during the Smedley Award Membership Contest.

Why send copies to so many people?

Many of the people who receive copies will reply to the recipient - adding their own congratulations. Instead of getting just one accolade from me, they get a blizzard of accolades from lot of people they deem important (their peers, close friends and District Officers). Likewise, when someone cc's me on a trolling for accolade Email, I "take that bait" by doing a "reply all" with my own congratulations -- I join that "praise party".

I also like to use those emails to nudge the recipient into doing more significant achievements.

Here's an example of one of my Emails:

Subject: Congratulations John Doe, Competent Communicator (CC)

John Doe,

CONGRATULATIONS on earning your Competent Communicator Award (CC)!! Woo-hoo!!!

Congratulations and thank you also to your fellow club members for providing feedback, for coaching you, and helping you along the way.

CC is an important milestone in your Toastmasters development. If you haven't done so already, it might be fun for you to reflect on how far you've come in those ten assignments -- how much you have improved, how much you've learned, what you feel more confident and poised about doing now.

I am so proud of your accomplishment. I salute you. Way to go John!!

My experience has been that CC provides a tremendous foundation for much that you will do. I encourage you to take full advantage of the Toastmasters advanced speaking program (AC-B, AC-S, AC-G) and the leadership program (CL, AL-B, AL-S) to continue your development.

Again, congratulations John Doe, Competent Communicator!

How would you feel if you did something cool then received 15-20+ Emails congratulating you about it? All it takes is one "trolling for accolades" Email to trigger that avalanche of appreciation.

Here's your homework: If you like this idea, please leave a comment letting me know you appreciate it. Better yet: catch someone doing great, send them a "trolling for accolades" Email, then enjoy the "praise party" your Email triggers.

What other ways do you use for showing people how much you appreciate what they've done?

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