As of last week, Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting is officially 10 years old! Woohoo!
I’m so proud of how far we’ve come and the amazing team we’ve built. From the master’s thesis that kicked it all off, to writing a book, to launching the Thoughtfully Fit Gym after years of development – it’s been quite the journey.
But although I’m proud of our success – and grateful for all the lessons earned along the way – it doesn’t come naturally to me to celebrate the journey. In fact, there’s a part of me that actively resists doing something as “frivolous” as celebrating (thanks, inner trash talkers!).
I was raised to work hard, not pause to reflect or celebrate, but rather go straight to the next thing on my to-do list. And while that work ethic has helped me achieve what I have, it’s also made it hard to step back and take stock every now and then. Let alone give myself a pat on the back when things go well!
And yet, research shows over and over that the teams that do take the time to celebrate see tangible benefits. Here are just a few of the benefits:
Benefit 1: Lock in best practices for the future
Almost every team will conduct a post-mortem when things don’t go according to plan. Phrases like constructive feedback, going forward and lessons learned (or, as I prefer, lessons “earned”) have become mainstays of corporate America.
What’s less common is teams taking the time to reflect when things go well. On the managerial level, this could mean discussing what went according to plan as part of a standard debrief at the close of a successful project. On an individual level, you might consider buying your coworker lunch to convey how much you appreciated getting the materials you needed for that important client presentation that landed a new deal.
By celebrating the seemingly little things that contributed to success, everyone is more likely to do it again.
Benefit 2: Boost morale by acknowledging key milestones
Even the most motivated of teams will struggle to get through a year-long project without some positive reinforcement along the way. So don’t wait until the very end of the project to celebrate! Instead, take time to celebrate key milestones along the way.
This could be as simple as spending a moment reflecting on the team’s successes at the start of a team meeting. Or maybe take one step further and personalize your appreciation to each team member individually, based on their personal preferences. For example, one coworker might enjoy being publicly praised in a team meeting, whereas another might appreciate it more if you schedule a surprise lunch to acknowledge all they’ve done.
Either way, appreciating how your employees have contributed to important milestones will make everyone feel good and fuel them for the next phase of the project!
Benefit 3: Increase trust and vulnerability
Research by Patrick Lencioni has identified a lack of trust as the number one sign of a dysfunctional team. This makes sense intuitively: how are you to work effectively with your colleagues if you don’t trust them?
By creating opportunities for celebration, you can help your team members bond socially and build trust with each other. Parties, doughnuts in the break room, or a trip to a virtual escape room are all ways to see staff as people, not just parts of the work system. Social events also create opportunities for people to be vulnerable with each other, which builds connection and a sense of being on the same team. Celebrations can provide those opportunities to build relationships and trust.
Celebrating in 2023
In an effort to continually improve – and to put my money where my mouth is – I’m excited that my intention for 2023 is CELEBRATION! We’ll be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of our company in various ways, and I’ll also be finding ways to celebrate personally:
- Take one day off each week completely (no work from midnight to midnight)
- Do a fun adventure every month, whether travel or something I’ve never done before
- Hire a personal stylist and refresh my wardrobe
If you’d like to bring the spirit of celebration to your life, try the following core workout:
- Pause: Take time out of your day to celebrate.
- Think: What has happened recently that you’re proud of? It doesn’t have to be anything grand – the little wins matter more than you might think!
- Act: Spend 5 minutes today rewarding yourself for what you did.
Here’s to Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting and all the amazing team members who have worked so hard to make it a success! We may have started with a master’s thesis, but now it’s time to master the art of celebrating in style.
Watch this space for updates all year long. And happy celebrating your successes!