From the time I was very young I have vivid memories of being out shopping or in a restaurant with my Mom and having her ask to speak with a manager. For most people I think this means that they were about to lodge a big complaint. For my mother this meant that someone went so far out of their way to be kind that they deserved being commended. I have always enjoyed the awkward moment when a manager walks over thinking they are about to get bombarded when my mother expresses how wonderful our server, cashier or other employee was. She always points out that people are quick to complain but very slow to commend. I have always loved that.
Today I took my severely ADHD/SPD child shoe shopping. We went to Stride Rite and had the same wonderful woman who has been fitting my children's shoes since they were born. She spent the better part of an hour finding shoes that Grace could wear without them pinching, twisting, rubbing, etc. She was wonderful. We thanked her up and down but that didn't seem like enough. So I came home and sent an e-mail. Who knows if anything will ever come of it but why are we so slow to broadcast when someone is doing a great job. (I once did this for a hair stylist who took me at the last second and was great... the next time I walked in she hugged me and thanked me for helping her get a big raise!!)
Imagine a day when people are as likely to give praise as they were to give criticism. Imagine if you were at your job and your manager calls you into their office. Instead of getting chewed out they tell you that someone sent them a letter or called to say how kind you were! Wouldn't that feel great??
I think we could all stand to take a page from my Mom's book. Make sure to tell someone when they are being exceptional!