Sometimes you just need a pep talk.
Back in 2017, I worked with Kelley Hartnett and some other folks to create the book You’ve Got This: A Pep Talk for Church Communicators. I’ve worked on a number of books, and I think that’s one of the best. As you’d expect, the book is a series of pep talks for overworked and under-appreciated church communicators (or insert your own role—it applies). We brought in an illustrator, Kelley is hilarious, and the book is a heaping dose of encouragement. Good stuff.
My favorite advice in the book is to start a kudos file.
- How: Whenever someone says something kind about the work you’re doing, take those words and save them in some kind of a file. Maybe it’s a file folder or a box under your desk, maybe it’s a Word doc handily bookmarked. Just save all those nice things in one place (it’s not rocket science).
- Why: When things get hard—and they inevitably will—read through your kudos file. When you need a pick-me-up, go to the file. When you’re doubting everything you do, take a few minutes to browse.
- Bonus: It’s also handy when you need some customer stories.
I followed that advice for one of my projects. I’ve kept a Google Doc for a couple of years, and it’s up to 16 pages and over 6,000 kind words about the work I’ve done.
[Sorry, got something in my eye.] Those stats render me speechless. It’s kind of staggering.
So does it work? Um, yeah. That document is a reminder: Any time I feel rundown or run over, one person’s rant is ridiculous. Whenever I wonder why I keep writing, there’s the will to walk on. If I’m just tired and not feeling it, motivation a plenty is on hand.
I’m doing good work and it’s making an impact. Keep it up.
Pep talk achieved.
Pep Talk Without the Ego
There is a potential downside. You can let all that pep turn to hot air that over inflates your sense of self importance.
The best way to keep the pep in check? Send kudos to other folks. Share the love. Say thank you and tell people how much you appreciate their work. Help pack their kudos file.