So what’s the point, you ask? Well, for some reason, this service station scenario popped into my head while I was reading the book How Full is Your Bucket, by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton. Well, not so much the service station, as the automobiles that come in for the fuel. See, in the book, the authors really stress the importance of filling others’ buckets with positive events (hence, the “Fill ‘er Up Please” quote). See, everyone has this internal bucket, and others can either dip from the bucket with negatives, or fill the bucket with positives. As others dip from your bucket, you lose motivation, become less productive, and in turn continue the cycle as you begin to dip from others. However, as other people fill your bucket with positive interactions and comments, your morale increases, your productivity increases, and the workplace can become a more thriving workplace. In fact, they have researched and researched and realized that the magic ratio is 5:1. That is, production becomes most efficient at 5 positive interactions, to every one negative interaction.
So, how does this relate to a car? Let’s think about this a minute. Your car needs to be constantly filled with fuel (the positives) to be able to produce (that is run). If your fuel tank (the car’s bucket) runs out of those positives, then it stops. It can’t perform. Isn’t this similar to humans? As people constantly introduce negatives into our world, don’t we begin to perform less and less, until at some point, our bucket becomes empty and we just give up? Apathy sets in? We have to be conscious of this, and remember that people need praise and need to be “filled up.”
I want to recommend this book to all of you. It has really opened my eyes as to how I interact with others. It’s amazing what very minor changes in both verbal and nonverbal cues can do. It can mean the difference between a negative experience and a positive one for others. Remember, as you fill others’ buckets, yours will be filled as well!
What do you think? Do you agree with this book? Let me know your thoughts, so we can begin a discussion!