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Congratulating subordinates for their good job

Hello everyone,

past week-end I worked a week-end shift. On the week-end it's a small team, so we really are in the trenches together and have to support and help one another. We get to get closer to one another by sharing the battlefield so to speak, difficulties and adversity in short.

After that week-end I wanted to thank the team but we already parted ways. So I decided to send them a message. I sent the same message to 3 people and it's interesting to see their reactions, this is why I share it here. It turned out as an experiment when it was first intended to catch up on deserved face-to-face gratefulness.


Me: Super job this WE thanks!

Her: Yes it was a really interesting week-end!! (Gives me some information which I already knew after that, not relevant for this case)

To me, here she pushes back on me having the right to thank her for her job. So I think it's a challenge to my authority here.


Me: Super job this WE thanks!

Her: Yes, rest well earned! (smiling emoji)

Here about the same dynamics as above. She takes the credit, does not give credit back nor acknowledge the thanks.


Me: Super job this WE thanks!

Her: Thank you very much (blushing emoji) good rest

Oops I see now that I forgot to answer her with a simple "thanks" my bad. Anyway, here she acknowledges my "thanks" and also shows a bit of submission. I think she admires me and likes me from how she looks at me. Not boasting here, an observation.

So I think it is interesting to see the different answers. I'm aware I might seem obsessed with "my authority". Well it's kind of true. I have the "new leader" syndrome so maybe I carry some insecurity around it. I need 1-2 years to adapt to this new position anyway and I am only 1 month in.

I love this position and I see I have to up my power-awareness game. I am too lenient with power players still I believe. I let it slip too much. I'm learning this thing as I go so I'm very open to feed-back. If I sound arrogant or if my analysis is off please let me know. All this is very new to me.

Lucio Buffalmano, Mats G and Bel have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoMats GBel

Very interesting indeed.

And I think you put them in the order of "power acceptance".

Noteworthy how Caroline also chose a different frame, going from "great job" to "interesting + job info".

John Freeman and Bel have reacted to this post.
John FreemanBel
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Thank you very much!

Yes she’s very good with power dynamics despite her young age. Her overconfidence and tasking is a bit annoying but I’ll adopt the learner mindset as always and learn from her. It’s a great answer indeed diplomatically if one does not want to accept someone else’s power/dominance. Everyone is my master in some way (if you have a comment on this mindset BTW I’m all ears: like if it’s too submissive for instance).

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