How Full Is Your Bucket?: Positive Strategies for Work and Life

Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D.

Donald Clifton was a well-known psychologist and the Chairman of Gallup, Inc. and Tom Rath is a Global Practise Leader at The Gallup Organization and Donald Clifton’s grandson. Together they have written a book on a subject they feel very passionate about, one that would be easy to shrug off as “light weight”. Don’t do that, this is a book well worth reading.

With just over 100 pages and written in simple language, the ideas in presented in the book are easily understood and even easier to implement in your professional and personal lives.

The core idea is simple yet extremely powerful: focusing on the positive (doing and saying things that are positive) not only benefits the person you’re interacting with, it benefits you. Well researched (and well documented should you want to delve further into the subject matter), the authors’ persuasive arguments quickly convince you that focusing on the positive can produce dramatic results.

The Gallup organization has surveyed over 4 million employees from countries across the world and those employees who “receive regular recognition and praise:

  • Increase their individual productivity
  • Increase engagement among their colleagues
  • Are more likely to stay with their organization
  • Receive higher loyalty and satisfaction from customers
  • Have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job”

What’s not to love? Provide your employees with positive feedback and you, and your company, are away to the races. Easily said, not easily implemented.

“65% of Americans received no recognition in the workplace last year.”

“The #1 reason people leave their jobs: they don’t feel appreciated.“

With these types of statistics, Rath and Clifton remind us of the stark reality of the workplace. For many employees, work is a place filled with negativity or, to follow their analogy, people with empty buckets busily emptying the buckets of those around them.

How Full Is Your Bucket? provides simple tools you can begin to implement before you’ve even finished the book and, quite simply, you will be amazed at how quickly you see a difference in your interactions with others. This book is highly recommended: buy a copy for yourself and everyone on your team. Buy one for your boss.

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